Not my words, but I identify with this statement a lot. It’s the word wreckage that seals the deal for me, because that’s exactly the emotional toll I inflicted on those around me. The beautiful stories bit I see in others in recovery all the time.
It’s beautiful seeing people blossom and open out, away from the shells of people that alcohol ravaged.
This week in particular I noticed a lady at my inclusion group had her nails manicured for the first time since I met her, which felt especially poignant as she had commented before on how at her worst she had not even bothered to wash her hair, never mind had her nails done.
In seeing her becoming more and more well, it reinforced to me not only the value of the group, but also that we are free to make our own world as big or as small as we decide. It doesn’t sound much, but those valuable steps of self care are the stepping stones to build confidence to grow our worlds to meet our potential. For a long time my world was contained by boundaries of when could I drink next, and where would I get that drink. Looking back, it was smaller than any physical prison, and of my own creation.
I didn’t drink because I was stressed, or for any other reason than I decided too. It was no ones fault but my own.
BUT here is the thing, we don’t need to beat ourselves up over what we once did. Think about it, use it to make better choices and recognise that no one is perfect. What is the point of aiming for perfection, when it is literally setting yourself up to fail. Real, short term goals where you can recognise your progress are much more effective.
There was a time when I didn’t even think about how I could be better. I mean better in terms of my alcoholism, as well as a better person. Now I can rally see the value in trying to help those around me, and (despite general social anxiety) I have volunteered to help at my children’s school feet as well as Marshall at Park Run. I would like to keep giving, as so much of my recovery has been due to others being willing to give their time, effort and experience to help me.
*If you fancy a musical interlude, you can hum The Circle of Life now…*