Looking Back Isn’t The Same.

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As I have stated previously, I (respectfully) choose not to identify as a drug addict but that doesn’t mean that I am not reminded on a daily basis that I am a rehabilitated person; a previously shattered, broken, empty, lost, human being currently living on borrowed and gifted time.

I am reminded of that every single day.
and every single day gratitude for sobriety spills over into all areas of my life, because that is not who I am anymore.

As a person in long-term recovery I often wonder:

“Will there ever be a day that I don’t consciously recognize that I am a person living a sober life, as opposed to being just a person living life?”

Will I always hug my boys like I haven’t seen them in weeks?
Am I always going to laugh at their jokes, or hug them just a little bit tighter and longer than I need to? (Or what they can tolerate)
Am I always going to peek in on all three of them repeatedly just to stare at their perfect, round, little faces?
It is possible that I will forever be that imperfect parent who doesn’t want to miss anything because I have already given too much away already and my dedication to relishing in every moment that my heart is able to absorb still hasn’t wavered?
 
……I hope so.

Is it likely that I will always look at my husband as if he is the only man on this planet, every single morning, reminding myself of all of the days that we have left to build new memories, as I push away the quiet reminders of all that I cannot remember or piece together, or do-over, or take away?
Will I be able to continue admitting when I am wrong, every single time, even if it always happens numerous times a day?
When I am being irrational, or have lost my temper, or said something I didn’t really mean because I was hot, tired, or hungry will I do my part to hold myself accountable?

……I hope so. 

Will I always see the hurt in other people’s eyes?
Am I always going to be able to see through a phony smile or audibly hear when tears are being held back but are just one word away from surfacing?
Will I always going to be the person who knows intimate details of the lives of young women who bag my groceries, or who spill their hearts out to me when we are standing in line somewhere?

……..I hope so.

Will I always try to make amends whenever it is possible or healthy for me?
Will my promptly’s continue to come quicker and closer together?
Am I going to keep falling on my face, over and over again?
Will I always feel this thankful to my recovery family of supporters?
Can I always embrace my strengths and keep continue being vigilant about *all of the areas that I still struggle in?

……..I hope so. 

I open my eyes every morning and I thank God for another day to try again, to get it right, or vacuum that something, or email that somebody…

But as much as I am embracing this sober life,
living out my recovery day-to-day seems to be a constant reminder of who I used to be.
That somebody who I used to know.

Every single day that I embrace sobriety, I find my mind wandering.
Time and time again I glance behind me.

But looking back doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

It doesn’t mean that I completely lose myself or dig up things that I have laid at the foot of the cross- things like resentment, shame, sorrow, or regret.

It doesn’t mean that I yearn for that old way of living or pine away for any component or characteristic of that lifestyle.

It means that I am still able to see that girl.
The one who I used to be.

The girl who thought she had to be strong all of the time, who needed to have it all together.
The one who couldn’t allow herself to let go of control of what she felt or who she felt for, who strong armed anything that felt close to concern, care, compassion, or love; the one who hid.

I can close my eyes and I can see her.

and I am immediately brought right back to where I belong.
I reassured when I am look back and catch a glimpse of that life.

Everything is finally alright.
By alright I mean real.
By real I mean I am present.
I am aware. I am living and feeling and experiencing.
I have come to a place in my journey in this life where I am finally wearing the skin that I am in and I am comfortable being me.

That is all that I ever truly wanted.

Although I seem to continually uncover new parts of who I am, and I am still utilizing the tools that I have tucked away from the recovery programs, from blogs, literature, articles, magazines, books, and now the ever popular podcasts- I have learned one very important thing-

Will there ever be a day that I don’t consciously recognize that I am a person living a sober life, as opposed to being just a person living life?

I hope not.

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