I have heard at times people who want recovery “just to be over.” They want all the hard work to be done and the journey over so they can live their life, and not always fight for recovery. I understand this. In my recovery, when I got sober and started serious recovery from my eating disorders I wanted everyone to just move on, let go, and stop remembering the past. Hell I wanted to forget about the past. I wanted to be done with it. I had struggled for years and was so tired of it. I now had chosen life, so that was it right?
It took me years of learning in IOP, therapy, residential all the tools I needed when I was fighting recovery. I would use those tools occasionally, when I needed to, or needed to show to others I was ok. I also knew what to say to everyone, especially therapy because I KNEW how it worked. I think that worked against me for a while. I was fighting complete surrender, because I was clinging on to the past in small ways.
When we choose to enter recovery, it is hard. We fight daily. But the lessons we learn can and do apply to life! What we are learning in recovery, and what we are fighting for will enhance the life we will live. This is when I like to think of life and recovery as a very dynamic journey. It is about being present, experiencing things, making choices, making mistakes, following new paths, new challenges, risking things, embracing our fears, it really isn’t about the destination. The journey is life.
I have learned a lot in “life” and some aspects were lessons I learned in recovery and applied to life.
Here are a few of my Recovery Lessons:
- I learned how to communicate and truly hear people.
- I learned new coping skills, to be a healthy, balanced person
- I learned about boundaries, and how to voice those to the people around me.
- I learned that mistakes are PART of the journey
- I learned how importance self acceptance, self forgiveness, self patience and self care
- I learned empathy and the difference between giving support and giving advice
- I learned that feelings are important, and to allow myself to feel, and they will change
- I learned that ME time makes me a better person in WE time
- I learned the Should Monster, ED voice, Self shame voice are all bitches.
All of these lessons have been applied to my life. And I still struggle and re-learn a LOT of the lessons over and over, but I am aware of it, catch myself, and stand back up and choose to move forward again. Recovery isn’t just something we have to fight through, it is also a place where we learn new coping skills, learn more about ourselves, about our struggle, and about what we can do to make our lives healthier. I take my life now and apply the tools of recovery to it, and who would have imagined that!!! It is all about perception, maybe thinking about recovery as self discovery, self love, self care, will help lesson the fight to have recovery “done with.” I also promise that the more we commit to the lessons in recovery, the less hard the battle is. When we choose life, and choose to fight, in time, the fight transforms to something we call life. We no longer have to fight, control, and wish the battle was over, because we will have learned and grown in recovery. We will have learned the tools, know how to apply them, and they will seem to occur like second nature.
When you think you want to give up, keep fighting! When you have thoughts of “I wish the fight were over” just remember you are learning lessons along the way that are lessons to apply to life. So remember to take moments to write down the lessons you are learning, because in time, you will be able to look back and be amazed at how far you have come in your journey!!
Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow ~ Albert Einstein