On this particular day, my recovered life looks like this. I’m sitting on my living room couch working (writing this), still wearing my pj’s and flip flops at 11 am. I drove my daughter to school like this after getting her ready for Halloween dress-up day. I have an abandoned kitten by my side that my sister found yesterday and since we are “cat people”, we, of course, adopted it. I’ve become its surrogate mother, or according to my children – grandmother. We now have four cats which is slightly unmanageable, but sometimes having a conscience can make life that way. I’ll get him (we think it’s a him) checked out at the vet later and get advice on how to care for a kitten too young to be away from its mother.
The rain is pouring down outside. There are towels and underwear on the washing line, dripping wet, because I forgot to take them in yesterday evening. My kitchen is a mess. There are dishes in the sink and laundry piled high on the kitchen table which will be moved to my bedroom later to make room for dinner – and maybe not. We may eat dinner from our laps in the living room by the fire.
Some days I work out. I either walk on the beach or use my elliptical trainer that sits in one corner of the living room. Not today though. Some days I take myself to a coffee shop and work from there – won’t be doing that today either. My Son is home from school the last few days. He’s struggling with life quite a bit at the moment and needs extra care and attention. We are a house full of deep feeling and thinking creators. That way of being comes with a price, so mental health days are a necessity to help us maintain our functionality. Not being okay is perfectly acceptable in our home.
While working, my thoughts will flick between my next project and what I need from the supermarket. Did I pay the electricity bill? Will I be able to remedy my sleep-deprived brain at some point over the weekend? Eventually, I’ll shower and run the necessary household errands and pick my daughter up from school. No doubt her costume will be in tatters and the face paint I applied will be smeared and stuck in her hair.
On a daily basis, a recovered life for me is not glitz or glam or the least bit exciting. A life without active addiction doesn’t make me special or privileged or award-winning. It does, however, leave me feeling very rich. There are no thoughts of escape. I have hopes and dreams of course, but I don’t want to escape from anything anymore. No thoughts of having a drink at the weekend or anytime. No desire to please anyone nor do I require anyone’s approval. I face reality with the strength and clarity to deal with it correctly. I trust myself. I trust my thinking and actions. I have room for the things that are important. Every day my children and I feel joy and gratitude and serenity even when life is a giant bitch.
This is who I am now and I know longer fear it. I don’t need bells and whistles to make life worth living and I do what I do because I love doing it. Today my life in recovery is completely perfect and exactly where I’m supposed to be.