Today, I choose recovery because…

Dear Bee,

I must admit, I miss you right now. I know what that means: it means that I am feeling somewhat indecisive about some major life changes, anxious about the potential unknown, and triggered by the moderate stress in my life. In other words, even though you are toxic and conniving, I miss your reassuring familiarity. You are instant happiness, instant distraction, instant insurance against being plagued and bothered by real world problems.

In recovery, I think it is so important to rewind and identify why now? Why today? During my first session, my therapist asked, why did you decide to start therapy NOW? I found this question strange but incredibly thought provoking. In my graduate school studies, I have learned that this is a common intake question. It enables therapists to gain stronger insight on where the client is in life, assess the severity of a situation, and determine his or her motivation for achieving change.

 So why now? Why today?

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Today, I choose recovery simply because I have some awareness of how recovery feels. I understand the gratification of freedom from those terrible, consuming “out of control” feelings of hopelessness. I know how to recognize my triggers and manage my intense emotions before I allow them to spiral downwards. Most importantly, I have been able to recognize that it is OKAY to have feelings, even when they are negative, and it is OKAY to let myself ride them out.

Today, I choose recovery because it means I am choosing to love and honor myself. I am finally extending myself the treatment and respect I would give to my best friend, to a family member, and even to a stranger. How sad it is that I often treat strangers with more respect than I give myself.

Today, I choose recovery because I deserve recovery.  I am NOT a “bad person.” I do NOT need to punish myself with food or exercise or restriction. I am more than a diagnosis and statistic, more than a number on the scale, more than an amount of calories consumed or type of foods eaten. I am a dynamic personality with a beautiful, shining soul, curious, vast mind and and  limitless heart.

Today, I choose recovery because it forces me to grow, change, and embody the fulfilled person I feared to be. This is not an easy path to travel; in fact, the course itself is very hilly and unpredictable, nearly pitch-black, with very few road signs. Sometimes, I slip and fall. Sometimes, I debate spinning into reverse. Sometimes, I wonder if I am even going in the right direction.

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Today, I choose recovery because it allows me to enjoy the twisted scenery on this crazy road. Every now and then (and it’s becoming more frequent), I see those slight beacons of light, those promising glimmers of hope. And when this happens, I feel an undeniable sense of content and serenity. The world feels aligned and balanced, and that’s when I know that no matter how impossible or scary or painful this process is, I will always choose recovery. Today and for the rest of my life.

And if I have to remind myself by listing out my reasons every single day, then so be it.

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