When you understand your purpose, your direction becomes clear because, ultimately, it defines your journey.
I used to get annoyed when ‘normal’ people would ask me why I say I am clean and serene, as opposed to merely saying I am sober. It is a phrase that most recovering addicts use to express their state of being, I would say with a smile. A happy place!
While in my mind I’m thinking, to get to a place of serenity in recovery is an accomplishment! It is a daily reprieve, but there is joy in the journey!
However, it did not happen overnight to this strong-willed individual. Nope. And until this day, I am still a work in progress. Believe that!
There are two parts to the recovery process: getting clean and finding serenity.
Looking way back on that dreadful walk into detox. I was petrified because I had experienced some withdrawal symptoms prior and was familiar with the pain I was about to endure. I knew what I was facing walking through that door. However, my focus was on getting rid of all the toxins in my body from drug and alcohol abuse.
Detoxing would take a couple days! I was ecstatic! In my mind, I thought, I can do that!
During my stay there, to keep my mind sane, I focused on the result, what I stood to gain from going through this process. I rationed that once I left detox, I was not going to rehab. I didn’t need rehabilitation. I needed habilitation. Once I got past the withdrawals, I would be fine, at least that’s what I thought. All I wanted to do was be able to wake up in the morning and not need to drink or drug.
The nursing staff tried to convince me to stay in rehab, but I was adamant about going home.
Well things didn’t work quite like I planned. And I am so glad.
But something strange started happening. I felt like I was on a roller coaster. I had mixed emotions simultaneously, would be the simplest way to explain it. At any given moment, I would feel an overwhelming sense of sadness, and in the blink of an eye, I would get angry, which quickly turned to hurt, and before I knew it, I was sad again.
There was no rhyme or reason. I was a ball of confusion.
I was raw. I felt like my soul was wide open, naked to the core. I was feeling all of these emotions at once. I had no clue where they were coming from, nor did I know what to do with them.
For so long, I was numb to any feelings, good, bad, or indifferent. I stayed high all the time. Now that I had started to feel better physically, here comes all these emotions, making me a nervous wreck. I remember being so frightened, petrified of everybody and everything.
At this crucial point in my life, the truth became crystal clear. I could no longer hide behind the many masks I wore while in active addiction. I was at a crossroad. I had to make some tough decisions, because I was ready to bolt out of that treatment center and get what I needed to stop the whirlwind tornado about to erupt in my brain. I was losing my mind.
How bad did I want to stay clean? Was I willing to go to any lengths to quiet the noise in my brain? Or would I succumb to these feelings that were threatening to tear me apart.
I tell you the truth. I had one foot outside that door. It had to be Divine intervention that led my steps from that day forward. A sense of desperation took over my life, and I was ready to do whatever I had to so that the demons in my head would go away.
Three simple things I needed to do to begin the healing process:
· Honesty was, first and foremost. Before any healing could begin, I had to share the inner turmoil that had me engulfed in fear. Trusting someone enough to allow them to help tear down the walls of F.E.A.R. (false events appearing real). I had to admit defeat and succumb to the fact that I needed spiritual guidance.
· With an open mind, consider suggestions that may offer a different way of viewing my current circumstances.
· Willing to not only speak honestly about my fears, with an open mind, but change my attitudes and behaviors toward them.
Although these may seem like easy tasks, they were hard for me to do because I was so afraid of not being ENOUGH after I let others know the real me from down deep. However, Divine intervention was once again on my side, and I felt a burst of energy that led me to talk about what was eating away at my soul freely. I began to share all of it. In fact, after a while, I couldn’t shut up. That’s how good getting it up and out made me feel.
I had no clue what spiritual healing meant, nor did I know how to begin the process. What was spirituality, anyway, and how did it differ from religion. I was far from being a religious person. I had done too much sinning that went against the teachings of the holy scriptures.
My spiritual advisor, at the time, told me to look it up! Do some research! I looked at her like she had two heads. Didn’t this lady realize my brain was fried! But I did it! Ha! Ha!
Soooo, the definition I found that I could relate to and understand, stated, “spirituality includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for the meaning in life.” Such as a universal human experience something that touches us all. A soul experience that affects us all deep down inside!
As I pondered this, I began to feel an inner soul connection with a universal being that surmounts all human understanding. Yes, the God of my understanding. I honestly no longer felt the restrictions of doing this or that to appease God. I was elated and thought maybe there was a chance that God would forgive me for my sins, and I would find favor in His sight.
It was the beginning of my spiritual healing. Even though I had a long way to go and a lot to learn about myself, two things were crystal clear, in order to be clean and serene it would consist of working from the inside out, digging deep down to the core of my soul, getting it all up and out, one day at a time. (like peeling the layers of an onion) all the while leaning on the infinite power of the God of my understanding.
Another revelation I discovered during this process was that I didn’t have to be a fixer; it just wasn’t my job. I had done a lot of that early in recovery. I didn’t want to look at me. So I focused on any and everything around me, so I didn’t have to feel the pain inside.
It felt good to know, God already had everything covered, and He didn’t need my help! It felt perfect sitting in the passenger seat, instead of being the driving force. I relinquished the responsibility with a grateful heart.
I continue to cherish every 24hrs God gives me. My life is a blessing and so are the people in it.
Thank you iRecover Alberta, you saved my life.