One of the things that I don’t always write about on my blog or on the forums is where I stand now in recovery, in my life and with my relationships. I think we (me included) tend to think a person who recovered X amount of years ago is all better. They’re done. “Nothin’ more to see here, folks.” And while I personally believe that’s partly true, it’s not entirely true. It’s always good to do an inventory to see if you’ve reached goals. And to remind yourself of what recovery is, so that you stick to it!
I liken the experience of recovery to growing up, and becoming an adult. Because let’s face it, that is, essentially, what recovery is. When you are not recovered and you are in the throes of your addiction, you’re acting out, avoiding life and responsibility as a child would, and ultimately refusing to grow up. When you recover, you pass through the stages of psychological development and hopefully reach your potential, whatever that may be. SO, while you are not growing at such a rapid rate anymore, as an adult (as a recovered person), you are still making choices about your life, you are still choosing roads and you are still deciding what kind of perspective you would like to hold on to at any given juncture in your life. A successful recovery, therefore, means that you find your identity, you learn how to be intimate, you begin to contribute to the world and you feel a sense of accomplishment in your life.
But here’s the tricky part…
Can even the healthiest among us know the entirety of their identities when an identity is a constantly evolving human experience?
And can anyone really experience intimacy to the fullest, once and for all, despite the fact that people change all the time, and close up and bottle up and the open up again?
And must we reach a definitive point in our lives where we only contribute to the world, and no longer have occasional bouts of weakness where we must once again be the takers?
And despite feeling a sense of accomplishment for certain achievements, is it possible (or necessary) to feel a sense of accomplishment for every darn thing?
I guess what I am saying, is that while advanced recovery teaches you to not make critical mistakes anymore and gives you the tools to live an overall healthier life, you still face the human experience, you still must evolve and make decisions, you still must take risks and make mistakes, and you still must deal with other people who push your buttons, who challenge you, and who create in you a sense of wonder. So, while I no longer deal with the concept of PoAs or addiction, or doing horribly regretful things, I do deal with procrastination, avoidance of work, challenges within my own personality conflicting with others, challenges with my expectations of others (namely people I work with or family members) and from time to time frustration, boredom, anger, blame, and (my most recent) lack of interest in my job–after working to the point of near exhaustion from June to end of December, I collapsed and have been sick nearly the whole month of January. I want nothing to do with work and I am instead more interested in doing laundry and dishes!
Here’s more. Personally, I think I will always deal with my lack of ambition. I probably could have been far more successful than I am, but I never had any ambition, nor did I have a focus. I think I will always deal with my own version of ADHD in that, I can get bored with the direction I am heading in and change. And because of that change, I end up starting all over again. At the beginning.
Lastly, I wish I were better at spending less money.
So, at the moment, work and money is not working for me. That is where I am struggling. Should I continue with this particular volunteer work, or should I let it go? And if I do let it go, what will be the consequences?
On the flip side, my relationship with D has been wonderful. Aside from the past month where we were both sick and miserable with the flu, and a bit short with each other, our overall relationship is right where I’d hope it’d be after 4 years. My feelings for him still grow. He still amazes me with his kindness, love and respect. ANd I still have deep emotions for him, backed by the fact that he never hurts me. When you find someone who you love and trust and who shares your same values, AND they never hurt you, the relationship becomes such a healing one! Are we lovey-dovey and shmoopy every day? Hell, no. He makes too much noise at night when I am trying to sleep. He’s oversensitive about my tone of voice (I’m Italian! I’m a little louder than the average girl!) He more often than not feeds his kids junk food. But these are issues I can handle! We are planning our wedding for August 24th, 2013.
My relationship with my kids is also strong. I am growing prouder and prouder of their accomplishments and the men they are growing into (well, they are still boys!). I spend lots of time with them and they mean the world to me. Do they act out and whine about cleaning up their rooms and doing chores? Yes! Every day. Do they get straight As; are they picture perfect students? No (well, the youngest one is!). Do I spoil them? Probably a little bit. But I am learning to let go and let them grow up in a healthy environment. I am creating a peaceful, loving world for them, and for that, I am proud.
My health and diet is going well. I decided to lose a few pounds back in October, and I accomplished my goal. Now to maintain! I am eating extremely healthy too, which makes me feel better and more important, regulates my mood so that I am happier, calmer, less moody. I’m telling you folks, try to cut back as much as you can on sugar, caffeine, drugs and alcoholic. When you do, you can clearly see what a large role those chemicals play in affecting your mood!
My relationship with my mother is wonderful. It usually always is, but now, she is newly retired and lives close, so we have been spending extra time together.
My house is a wonderful place to be. We’re under construction and that’s hugely exciting!
SO, that’s where I am now. How about you? Take a look at where you were five years ago. Are you where you thought you’d be? Are you where you want to be? What goals can you set you achieve those outcomes?