The honest face of recovery
Updated: Mar 26, 2019
I feel like, here I am again, and I don’t even know where to start.
Today I woke up feeling like everything I love and cherish will die before my very eyes and there’s nothing I will be able to do about it, and also I probably deserve it. I search inside myself for the reason I go from Goddess on top of the world to useless, tired, lump on a log and it’s a fruitless investigation. How can I go from helping people through their darkest hour with grace to losing all ability to basically function, literally on a dime?
What’s wrong with me?
The world has told me to suck it up for as long as I can remember. To suck it up and make sure my issues don’t make them uncomfortable or make them feel powerless when their helpful suggestions fall to the ground, one by one, with a heavy thud. "Just be grateful, get out there and fight the urge to implode, be active, use essential oils, medicate yourself, don’t medicate yourself, and on and on."
Sometimes, I wake up and the thought of even walking into my local, corner gas station to prepay gives me a near panic attack.
I’m being told “Don’t isolate yourself, you have to let people in, you can’t do it on your own.”
But when enough people disown you, shame you or negate your truth in deep moments of vulnerable need, how are you just supposed to open back up again? The truth is I’m like one of those little anemones in the ocean. The ones that quickly withdraw and enclose when something approaches. I am a turtle without a shell. I know no other way than to avoid burdening others with the struggles that seem to plague me.
You tell me not to say I’m sorry. I want to apologize for everything from my nagging cough, to my tired toddler, for my stretch marks and for merely existing. I want to say, I’m sorry for existing, sorry for being anything but perfect. I’m sorry. I’m not worthy. I was born apologizing for my existence and many times, that apology was met with an unhealed response that engrained the belief in me that I was indeed worthless and nothing but a burden. Yet still, it’s all I know and almost feels painful not to say “I’m sorry, I’m sorry for being here, for using up your air.”
I make it through the weeks taking it day by day right now. Sometimes I feel amazing, connected, strong and beautiful but the majority of the time I live in some gradient of gray just trying to navigate my life and locate balance. I sit waiting for inevitable doom...something happening to my children, my health going downhill, a car accident, I’ll lose my spouse somehow. People tell me to let it go, and I wish I could.
I wish the thoughts didn’t plague me and I wish I could just let it go instead of self medicate.
And I wish I could just let it go instead of:
spending my day in bed,
Feeling exhausted on a soul level,
Crying like a fool all day and night,
Fending off panic attacks,
Trying desperately any form of self care that will make it go away for just a few minutes of relief.
My pain is not a cry for attention, or I wouldn’t try to handle it all on my own. I will not shy away for your comfort anymore. If I’m having a bad day get ready to hear it. Get ready also to hear that I don’t want your advice unless I ask for it. I don’t want your solutions or horror stories. Your support is welcome, so is your love and prayer. My recovery will not happen overnight and when this roller coaster eases to a stop at last, I will look back and see who jumped ship and who stuck around with pure trust in God’s plan.
I can no longer put the needs and expectations, the comfort of others before caring for myself. I’ve learned the hard way how detrimental that is to myself and my family.
So sometimes I will cancel on you last minute, not because I want to. I will battle with intense guilt and torture myself with feeling your disappointment before I finally do what I know is best for all involved. I cannot pretend anymore. Surface level is a lie.
I’m diving in deep baby and feeling this pain so I can navigate through it and never, fucking EVER look back. This is my recovery and I’m grateful also to the support that I’ve found during this time. I’m grateful to the friends (and sisters) who push me to talk about what I’m going through, even though it’s the literal last thing I want to do. I’m thankful to the AA and Al-Anon communities for their unwavering support and honesty. I’m grateful to those who haven’t let me push them away, despite giving it all my best efforts. I’m grateful to the misfits and broken ones, the ones who navigate their pain and then walk those routes again and again guiding others through theirs. Thank you to the hope givers, teachers and healers who hold me up when I am weak.
It’s so hard to share this, but also I think I must. So I’m going to be doing my best to work on myself and share what I can when I can, with the possibility it may help another. One day when I’m out the other side of this, I will help so many and that’s the fuel that gets me through.
In the meantime, please note: MY RECOVERY COMES FIRST.
I am relearning to love and care for myself. This is not easy believe it or not. Therefore I have to accept that putting myself first sometimes may create conflict (of which I’m a grand avoider). I’m dealing with a lot, and those that have walked a similar path understand this, others with empathy also understand, but I will not justify my choices to care for me. If you struggle with accepting this, it’s okay, I understand, but you may need to find another Healer if we cannot meet on this level.
At this time I will be working only Monday through Friday from 9 - 2 pm, not taking groups and working to find balance between being a mom of 4, working two jobs and caring for myself on this journey to finding me.
This is the honest face of my recovery.