Is Being “California Sober” Really Being In Recovery?
The idea of somebody who is in recovery from addiction and describes...
I was born with a worried mind.
I’d imagine I was busy worrying before I could even speak.
Am I drinking this bottle right? Am I crying too loudly?
For a worrier, the answer is always, emphatically, yes.
As a kindergartner, I took those worries and began lacing them into the pages of my diaries. Each night before bed, I’d spend an hour illustrating the inner workings of my frightened, five-year-old mind, my thoughts neatly arranged within the confines of a Winnie-the-Pooh notebook. Before long I’d fall asleep, pen or marker uncapped upon my pillow, igniting my incorrigible lifelong habit of ruining every set of linens I’ve ever owned.
Nearly twenty years have passed since then. As I continue to swim in my ceaseless pool of self-doubt, I sometimes wonder how I’ve made it this far. And then I remember.
I haven’t stopped worrying. Though I haven’t stopped writing, either.
For so many of us, words are a powerful comfort. We learn to speak them, scribble them, and think them. We learn that their capability to hurt is just as strong as their capability to heal.
We learn that we are made of them.
When I started working at RECO a few months ago, I was (surprise, surprise) nervous as hell. It was a big step, moving from my sleepy hometown in Western Pennsylvania to the vigor and vibrancy of South Florida.
It was a big step, writing a story that I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to tell.
As RECO’s analytics specialist, my first assignment was to interview all members of our staff. I took notes during each interview and wrote a bio for each person. As a new employee, this was a fantastic way to get to know my co-workers, and a great introduction to the RECO community.
By the end of that assignment, my worries had lifted. These strangers’ biographies had become stories, and I had found a home amongst their words.
We had all been through something. We had all struggled. We had all lost. We had all won.
I was worried but I had written my way through it. Life kept changing, and whether I wanted to or not, I kept changing, too.
The author Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote, “I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.”
I breathe those words each day, reminding myself that “vulnerable” is the most beautiful combination of letters that we can be. The brutal pursuit of resilience isn’t pretty—but I’m glad to be pursuing it, anyway.
Regardless of whether we are committing our words to paper or not, we wake up and we write. We wake up and we live. We wake up and we create our own pursuits—of persistence, of love, and of strength.
I’d tell you not to worry, though I know that’s an impossible task. Instead, I will tell you that this chapter is only a beginning. These pages are yours—and yours alone— to fill.
You are, and always will be, a writer.
Here on RECO’s blog, I’ll be writing right alongside you. I’ll be introducing you to our staff, our alumni, and our mission: to create a blueprint for a better life.
Everyone has a story to tell, and as the poet Rukeyser once mused, “my lifetime listens to yours.”
Welcome to our community. I’m all ears.
Discover a better life and call our recovery helpline today.