Sunday, June 13, 2010

Diamond Life

The Sade CD Diamond Life has the song "Smooth Operator" on it. The Patti Smith CD features all covers including "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The Pearl Jam CD Backspacer has the song "Just Breathe" that is so beautiful.

Now I have new music to listen to while I work at the computer on my second job. This will carry me through the day.

Always: music and light and going out. I would urge anyone in recovery to go to the edge of their comfort zone to grow as a person. Standing still is not an option. Move to the beat of life. Take one risk every day.

Life is good. I always hold out the hope that there can be joy. We have the right to feel good and to enjoy life.

You don't recover by lying on the couch watching TV all day. I recommend a person do volunteer work if she can't work at paid employment. One summer I volunteered my time at the Forget-Me-Not thrift shop for the Alzheimer's Association. I had gotten involved with them because my Grandma had this illness. I would sort the new arrivals, arrange the clothes on the racks and ring up the orders. I felt it was something I had to do that summer.

It was the in-between time when I was living in limbo drifting through time. I would tell anyone that this happens: a plateau or a wandering not knowing where you'll be next. Like a nomad I traveled from place to place.

You will not want to hear that it can take a long time to reach the goals you have for yourself. Yet that is how recovery is: it is not quick and it is not easy and I have said this before. It took me three years from the time I was diagnosed to the time I obtained my first job and a year later I moved into my own apartment.

Here's the deal: I don't measure success by outward signs that a person has arrived in the world. I keep time in my recovery to subtle signals: a day that I can go to the poetry reading or a day that is free. Paula Cole wrote about this in her song "The Road to Me" about how the car and the house are not who she is they are only steps along the way.

Everyone living in recovery has the capacity to live a good life. My definition of recovery is the ability to live life on my own terms. To not settle for less.

It's why I'll take one good day over 50 not-so-good days as the barometer of success.

Do you see how it is?

I will always refer in here to the idea that we have only one day.

My goal is to chip away at the marble to reveal some kind of insight to offer hope to others and to inspire readers.

So that one day a light bulb will click and someone will say: "I want to recover and I'm going to take steps to make that happen."

The first step is to take the medication although popping pills is not the sole measure of our success. Going out the front door and entering life is the next step.

Now you see.

Enjoy your day.

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