Balance is defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. If you would have told me 5 years ago, that some of my closet friends would say my life is well balanced, I would’ve laughed in your face.
In my addiction my life thrived on extremes. It was either one way or another. There was no middle ground. When I started using, it was a balancing act. I had school during the week, and parties to attend on the weekend. I treated it like a reward for all my hard work during the week. However, slowly but surely, the dynamics of my life shifted. By the end of my using, I was completely consumed. My entire existence was waking up and finding ways and means to get more drugs. I wouldn’t eat or sleep. Sometimes I wouldn’t even shower, because all that mattered was that next one. There was no balance. It was all or nothing.
Coming into recovery, my balance needed work. I did not know how to take care of myself. I did not know what self-care was or how to do it. I could barely remember how to wash my own clothes, let alone get a job and work for a living. For the first few months while I was in treatment, I focused on the basics. I would wake up, make my bed, shower, go to work, and go to a 12-step meeting after. I repeated this every day because that’s what my predecessors told me to do. Eventually this became second nature.
Recovery has given me a full life, and over the years I have been given opportunities to continue practicing balance. In early recovery I was a retail store manager, going to meetings, exercising, working steps with a sponsor, and so much more. Through all of this though, I realized I needed to make time for myself too. I needed to take time to recharge and regroup. I believe it was in those times of reflections that I was able to appreciate my life. I am finally able to do so much more than just figure out how to get high every day. For me, that is a miracle.
My life today is very full. I work full-time, I attend college at night, I continue to go to meetings, I have a great social life, and I have time for myself to spend alone with my Higher Power.