someone once told me that recovery isn’t a smooth ride back to stability. you don’t get to jump onboard an escalator that delivers you to the “i’m feelin’ fine” floor. i didn’t believe it when i was first told it would be a bumpy ride. it made no sense to me. why wouldn’t it be a straight shot back up? as it turns out, they were right.
recovery is very much non-linear, and it persists in being so despite my wishing that it was otherwise. you work, you stumble, you relapse, you sink. you drop low, back down into the pit. what makes it recovery rather than just a fall is what happens next. you don’t go quite as low. the emergency brakes kick in and you don’t drop all the way down to the bottom. the bounce upon impact is a little easier on the bones and the stay in the pit a little shorter than it has been in the past. the climb back up is less challenging each time.
as long as you keep doing the work the overall trajectory will be towards recovery but navigating the rolls and swings on a day to day basis can be a challenge. sometimes, it’s hard to believe that you’re still climbing. it’s especially frustrating when i compare it to my original fall. that initial slide down to the bottom seemed as smooth as silk and incredibly easy to accomplish.
the trip back up hasn’t been easy. recovery is a tangled jumble and the only thing that really matters is your foot placement. you keep them going, placing one in front of the other, until one day, you look up and realize that your destination is approaching; you’re almost there.
(march 2, 2018)
photo credits: life in a bind; pastor dave online