Looking back to my years in early recovery, I remember that everything was a big deal, whether the situation was positive or negative. Something as simple as making a dentist appointment was a huge feat, and something that I felt like shouting from the mountain tops, thinking that I would get high praise for doing such an amazing thing. As it turns out, I was simply growing up and learning to take responsibility for myself. This was such a foreign way of life for me, and I was amazed with my leaps in progress, one little dentist appointment, job interview, or AA step at a time. On the other hand, occurrences like a breakup or feelings of self-centered fear in social situations took me down an emotional spiral that would consume me for days or weeks on end. With time, emotional sobriety started to unfold within me, and the problems that I had not only changed in quality, but I was better equipped to muddle through and carry on no matter what I was facing.
Over the years in recovery, my life grew in complexity, but the self-amazement for the achievements and the continuous self-pity or attention-seeking in hard times all have seemed to fade into the past. As time has lapsed, I have taken on motherhood, marriage, nursing school, a graduate program, homeownership, paying several bills, and everything else that goes with the rigmarole of life, yet every day is just another day. Recovery is a superpower that has offered me the ability to juggle life on life’s terms without collapsing into a drink or an emotional spiral. I can simply live. Gratitude for my life, for my abilities, and for my support network is the baseline for remaining even through the process. When hard things come up, I have my sponsor, network, and meetings to get me through. I know what I personally need to do to calm down and take a step back, whether it be to stop what I’m doing and practice a little yoga or meditation, work on a crochet project, or even take my frustrations out on my floors, giving them a good scrubbing. My Life is layered with beautiful achievements and people. Essentially, life got easier when I stopped trying so hard and simply began to take on the task at hand, one thing at a time. It’s a miracle to me that through recovery, the complexity of life has grown with many twists and turns but walking the journey has become the simple act of moving forward with peace, one step at a time.