“And nothing to look backward to with pride and nothing to look forward to with hope.” — Robert Frost
I am growing from, and getting over my sense of lost pride and lost hope. Often, my life seemed poisoned at the very source. I can’t remember a time of innocence, joy, or confidence in myself or in my relationships with others. I was sexually abused when I was a young child. I know the pain from that abuse and the stress associated with “keeping the secret” made me feel unsure of my boundaries and re framed my view of the future to one of anxiety and dread. But things are in fact beginning to change, as I change.
To go forward, I have had to admit to powerlessness. That has been hard for me to do. I must admit that I am powerless to undo the hurt and abuse in my past. And I have learned that I can’t “go it alone”. I have been alone way too long! I have my “new and improved” Self, the Universe, and my close friends to trust and confer with.
I am overcoming my past and turning toward the future with growing hope and trust. And then the present, like the New Year, becomes filled with promise. For those that know me well, also know that this “re framing” was difficult and can share with me the joy in my ability to change my way of thinking.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
One of the things I know I have gained through recovery and personal growth is that I have been given courage in the face of life’s darker realities. Now, I’m even more enthusiastic to offer my help to others in the face of addiction, depression, mental illness, physical illness and any other of life’s calamities. I know I can help, because I can say, “I’ve been there.” I’ve gone through so much, and I’ve come out of it on the other side. I understand the fear.
What a tremendous gift this can all be to others, given by those of us who understand the fear. Especially, for those facing their recovery issues after us. Our presence, our support, our unconditional love, and our non judgmental attitude are often what another suffering person needs. Our experiences as addicts, individuals challenged with mental illness – you name it – whatever other fear based dilemma we have faced, have given us an understanding and wisdom.
We have the perspective to be practical and realistic when necessary. We have the empathy to be compassionate. We have the strength and clarity to keep our boundaries in the face of another’s challenges and fears. My courage I am feeling at this moment is my personal growth and recovery in action. For that, may we all be grateful!