By Rose Lockinger
Recovery is a process that much is for sure. Recovery to me is all encompassing. It doesn’t end at the doorway of the meeting, it doesn’t stop when the last page of the book is read, and it isn’t finished when the last amend is made. It is all aspects of my life. It is not something that I can separate into two parts. I don’t see my life as recovery and then everything else. I just see recovery. It permeates everything and to me recovery and life are one in the same. For me recovery has become a continual spiritual process of growth and death, of happiness and pain of forgiveness and moving forward. You see before I got sober I was not a part of my life, I went through the motions but I never fully stepped into and owned my life. I was terrified of this of fully living and being present. Because prior to recovery being present meant reliving my trauma.
So when I say that recovery is a process, I am really saying that life is a process; that healing is a process and that it takes time to occur. It doesn’t end when you have the breakthrough in therapy and it doesn’t end when you finally feel peace about a situation, because there is always more to uncover. Always more to heal from, and always more to learn.
I have recently started to process some trauma from my past that I initially thought I had dealt with. I remember going through the emotions last time and working with a therapist to navigate through it, and then I remember at the end feeling like I had come to peace with it. Like I had arrived at a place where it no longer ruled me, or my decisions in my life, but I guess that I wasn’t entirely correct. I had employed some important techniques to maneuver through the pain and emotions that surfaced. I used mantras and self talk to keep myself grounded and walk through the overwhelming memories that threatened at times to consume me.
For as much work as I have done on that particular aspect of my life I guess that I wasn’t done with it and it has come back up leaving me a little frustrated and confused. When it first started to resurface I sort of had a moment where I thought, ‘that’s strange’ but I kept on with my life and continued to do the things I had to do. I thought maybe it was just a momentary lapse of memory, but that doesn’t appear to be the case and as my mind became more and more focused on that trauma I realized that there was more work that needed to be done in that area.
So I started to address it again and I was shocked by how intense the pain still was. It really took me back because I didn’t think it was going to be like that. I thought that I was further along in the process and that a lot of the raw emotion that I felt last time had subsided. I guess I believed that I would go into this healing process with a more objective and less emotional frame of mind, but I guess that isn’t the case.
Luckily though, I have been down this road before and I have a general idea what it is that I have to do. For so many years I kept everything bottled up inside and never talked to anyone about what was going on with me. This meant that when I first started to process and heal from my traumas, they all came flying out like I had opened a floodgate, but this time I already have practice so I know it will be different.
Not different in the sense that I still won’t feel or I still won’t have to sit with my emotions sometimes, but I have a basis for sharing openly and honestly and I now know the healing power that can come from this. I now know how to have a relationship with a therapist who can help me navigate my thoughts and emotions and I know that I do not have to hide anything.
I know that the road ahead for me is going to be a lot of crying, which I honestly don’t mind. Crying, like the saying goes, is the soul’s lubricant, and as much as I don’t want to be in pain, I don’t mind sitting and crying because I know that I always feel better afterwards.
I know the road ahead is also going to require me to learn new ways to love myself, because in the end that is what it is all about. I have discovered in my time in therapy and recovery that pretty much everything comes down to loving yourself. We experience certain situations in life that scar us and then from those scar we begin to hate ourselves. We do things that are counter-intuitive to our happiness because of those scars and in order to overcome them we must first process the trauma that happened, forgive ourselves for whatever guilt we have in regards to it, and then learn ways to love the person that we are. We must learn ways to love who we are in the moment, and not the person we will be or want to be.
That is what I am looking to do as I move through this process of healing. I am looking to love myself more and not let my traumas define the way that I see myself. I truly want to be free and if that means being uncomfortable for the time being then so be it, because in the end I know that this is the only way out. So while I do not want to relive and reprocess these emotions I know that I don’t really have a choice in the matter. I told God when I got sober that I would go to any lengths to achieve sobriety and if this is the path towards a better and still sober Rose, then I’m willing to walk it.
–Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.