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Growth in Recovery: An Ode to Resilience (and Roses)

My grandmother Audrey raised roses. She is nearly 94, today, though most of my memories of her are still cloaked in the sweet perfumes of June. My barefoot summers in her garden resulted mostly in mosquito bites and fallen petals pressed into my baby palms.

Shortly after I moved to Florida from Pennsylvania, one of my friends brought me a bouquet of roses. As I put them in water, I felt a tug at the back of my throat. The thorns pricked against my fingers, and I was instantly homesick for the life I’d left behind.

I put the bouquet in a spot where we could admire it. The homesickness slipped by; the blossoms’ beauty slipped by eventually, too. I picked up a petal and pressed it in a notebook—a tradition I could hold onto.

Flowers bring thoughts of blooming, and as human beings, we tend to bloom as well. I don’t want to get overly corny here, but when it comes to metaphor, flowers reign supreme. We grow as they do; we wilt as they do; we thrive as they do.

We open up to the world as they do.

The power of vulnerability, like those barefoot childhood summers, stays with us. None of us have been spared from thorns; in fact, the thorns have made us more accepting of difficulty. Our weakest moments are often synonymous with hurt, though they are also synonymous with resilience—that peculiar hunger that makes us get up and move.

There is a quote by Rune Lazuli that speaks to this concept. “I am blooming from the wound where I once bled,” he wrote.

No matter what hardships we have encountered in life, the idea of rising from the ashes—blooming from where we once bled—is something that we can each relate to. Just as life does not exist without pain, resilience does not exist without hopefulness. The challenge lies in experiencing every emotion—both pleasant and unpleasant—and remaining open to growth and change.

Growth in recovery is a lifelong process. At RECO, we witness transformation on a daily basis, knowing that there is no substitute for dedication. The most genuine moments of progress flourish from commitment: to one’s sobriety, to one’s future, to one’s self.

That commitment breeds possibilities. If you are here, you are growing, and that is a beautiful thing.

With this in mind, it is with gratitude (and unending cheesiness) that I extend a metaphorical bouquet to each of you. It can be whichever flower you like.

Savor its vibrancy; they are blooms from where you once bled, and those are the most resilient blooms of all.


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