Recovery is making it through a three day weekend, maybe not changing your clothes or maybe being more present than you’ve been in five years, but making it through that weekend, dammit. Recovery is using your level of road rage as a spiritual barometer. Recovery is suiting up and showing up unless suiting up and showing up for yourself tonite looks like watching Netflix in your pajamas with your dog. Recovery is giving up trying to be cool, and realizing that makes you cooler than you ever were. Recovery is realizing cool is an illusion bought and sold by corporate giants that don’t give a damn about you and your kids, and it had nothing to do with how much shit you shot in your arm.
Recovery is making a dinner, and burning it, and calmly walking outside and dumping the smoky remains in the backyard instead of having a meltdown. Recovery is melting down when you need to, and calling someone and letting them know, I’m a volcano and I’m about to bubble over and someone needs to be here for me or I’m going to turn into ash. Recovery is giving up the black and white film you've been watching your life in and seeing everything in color, all the nuance between good and bad and right and wrong, like Dorothy finally stepping into that technicolor world of Oz. Recovery is waking up each morning because you have places to go, and because in the past there were times you couldn’t think about crawling out of bed at 6am. Now you can. And that's a good thing, not a chore. Recovery is not hitting the other guy in the face when you want to hit the other guy in the face. Recovery is saying sorry after you hit the other guy in the face. Recovery is knowing your boundaries, or at least knowing them until you cross them and then learning them all over again.
Recovery is a trudging path forward. A push and a pull. A slow dance with life. Recovery is life, the only one you’ve got, anyways. Because that other world, that wasn’t living. That was a ghost tissue paper thin and one breath away from disappearing. A world of not enough and more now, a world of empty anticipation replacing craving replacing sleepiness or sickness cycled, over and over. Recovery is enough of that. Enough of not being able to breath through your nose. Enough of throwing up because you haven’t eaten in three days but food sounds like the only thing worse than seeing another human. Enough of itchiness. Recovery is enough is enough is enough. Recovery is connection. Recovery is freedom. Recovery is choice. Recovery is life. Recovery is breath.
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Kali Lux is a content writer and editor with a gift for breaking down big ideas into digestible bits. She loves to talk, write, and read recovery. Her short humor has been featured on McSweeney's Internet Tendency, and her BA in English is from ASU.