Earlier this month, I attended a women’s retreat with ladies who attend two separate fellowships. The topic fascinated me. We needed to fix what was broken (spiritually, emotionally, etc). In the first group, I found myself reflecting on previous retreats, in the same chair, at a time when I felt an immense amount of pain. I had a “breakup” with a few women who I truly cared for. I had a “breakup” with a nonprofit organization. Recovered from two years of caring for a husband suffering from cancer…twice…while facing my own military trauma throughout COVID. My heart was broken and remained that way for quite a while. What helped me through the depression included the following: faith, 12-step virtual meetings, telework, Netflix/Hulu, my dogs, family, and husband who forced me to get out of the house.
There is a bit of anxiety when imagining myself walking into local fellowship groups, reminding myself how this sober world is larger than Northwest Indiana. The benefits of the drama involved seeing who was authentic and loyal in my own life. The people who stand silent and look the other way are just as complicit, in my opinion. People who I wasted a lot of time around who were not solid. The pain of feeling shunned does not feel good. At all. Honestly, I lived this before in active addiction.
Sitting in this chair, recognized how much peace I was feeling. The reality is the fact that I walked away from drama, anger, hatred, and dysfunction to save my sanity and protect my emotional sobriety. Obviously, I played a part in some of it and recognized (for my sanity) the need to take a break from my recovery community. From attending face-to-face meetings, volunteering for a local nonprofit to accessing my recovery meetings via zoom. Travel and spend time with family, attend conventions, and have quiet time with my husband. Enrolled in a graduate certificate program while waiting for IU to accept my application and was recently accepted into their social work program. Party!
Change Is Good
Grateful for change. Thankful for the pain. God is definitely the Great Remover. He did for me what I could not do myself. 8,005 days sober. Sobriety does not promise “sunshine and rainbows”. What I know today is it is my choice to stay sick.