A Journey of Recovery

Cast your mind back to this time last year, October 2016. The leaves were starting to fall, the nights were beginning to feel that little bit colder. Which I suppose isn’t much different from now, expect from the time that stands between us. An empty void filled with memories that you can see but can’t quite touch, each filled with so much emotion. Days full of smiles and joy, nights full of fear and dread.

It was this time last year that I made one of the biggest decisions of my life. The kind of decision that has implications no matter what you decide. Leave and save myself or stay and fight for everything I’ve worked for. Even now, after all this time, I still dream about what could have been. Maybe that’s the burden of being human- we are always so self-critical, looking too far in to the horizon.

But this isn’t about whether I made the right decision or not because I don’t think I’ll ever know. And I’m not sure if I want to, I don’t want the battle of forever looking over my shoulder. I just have to trust that past me had good intentions and put future me first.

This is about how far I’ve come, a journey of recovery. The part of my story where things start to look brighter? And that’s true, to a certain extent. My journey is no longer stagnant, festering out of control. I’m slowly moving, not always forward but I’m moving. That is the most important thing.

One lesson I’ve learnt for sure is that recovery isn’t a straight forward path. Its full of long, dark avenues when you see no end in sight. It’s full of tiresome hikes that give you a tiny taste of freedom, before you trip and fall right back down the bottom of the hill. And there’s nothing you can do to stop it, expect watch your world come crashing down after you. It’s a long pain staking journey. One that has taught me so much about myself. I’m not sure if I’d be the same person without it.

Recovery is never easy. Sometimes these falls feel like a never-ending cycle where you just want to give up. But I’m not saying it won’t be worth it. Each time you pick yourself up you show an enormous about of strength, having to claw yourself out from under the weight of the world with only your bare hands. But every time your hands get that little bit stronger, your shoulders that little bit broader. Your feet learn to be the anchors that hold you to this earth to stop you from drifting, lost in the atmosphere or tripping and falling. And that taste of freedom is no longer a glimpse of what might be, it becomes reality.

I don’t know what lays ahead for me. I don’t know how many more holes I’ll fall down. I don’t even know how far I’ve got let to go. But I do know that I’m stronger person for it. A year is a long time, so much has happened. Souls have been broken, difficult decisions made, countless time of picking yourself up and starting all over again. But most importantly, we’ve survived every last one of them.

We should feel proud of how far we’ve come. Our journey so far… it’s been a fight for survival. One that I know will be worth it.

I can’t tell you where I’ll be
This time next year
I can’t tell you how I’ll feel
Nothing is ever set in concrete
But I can promise you this:
I’ll still be me
And for the moment at least
Me is exactly who I want to be

Until next time

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