By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
I really thought I was healed, or at least was very close. I had released what I felt I’d been cheated out of and was actively embracing a Plan B. I felt like a trailblazer, a role model, a success story.
Oh, how the mighty fall.
My demise came last year in the form of a photo on Facebook of a dear friend, her wonderful husband, and their two beautiful children decorating their Christmas tree together. Something I will never get to do. One look at that image and I lost it.
We’re talking throwing-family-ornaments-in-the-trash kind of lost it. All the anger, bitterness, hurt, shame, heartaches, sadness, unfairness, why-not-me-ness I thought I’d worked out of my system came roaring back. It was epic. It was ugly.
Fortunately, I got talked back out of my hell-hole by an understanding husband and compassionate friend. The tossed ornaments were retrieved, my body was hugged, my spirit was soothed.
Humbled, and more than a little embarrassed, I took a fresh look at myself and again was reminded that the whole grieving-to-healing journey is not a straight A-to-B process. It’s crooked, jagged, with obstacles, speed bumps, and small triumphs followed by stubbed toes.
My friends who have battled alcohol addiction know quite a bit about this, about what it means to be in recovery, and I think we can benefit from their wisdom and experience. When the temptation to slide back down grows strong, when our resolve is weakened, when recovery seems like too much work or unachievable, we can borrow some of their slogans and tell ourselves:
Keep it simple.
Easy does it.
First things first.
Just for today.
How important is it?
Keep an open mind.
Live and let live.
Let go and let God.
One day at a time.
I now keep these reminders on my desktop, within reach for when I need a boost or in case I feel a new meltdown coming on. Perhaps one of them will help you today.