Starting Over

November 14, 2008 at 9:05 am Leave a comment

Starting over is something we do several times in our lives. We start over when we move, change schools, change partners, change jobs, when a loved one or friend dies. Of course, we also start over when we recover from an illness or an addiction — whether alcohol, drugs or eating disorder. The magic of recovery is that we can start over. We can start over every single day. If we screw up in the morning, we can start over in the afternoon. Now is the moment to start over.

As I have mentioned in the past, I do notice that it gets harder, the older I get. On the other hand, I have matured, thus my expectations are not quite as high as they once were. I don’t mean to imply that one should settle for less, just that I’m learning to be a little bit more realistic than I was.

There’s an old saying which most of us have heard more often than we cared to, but it is true: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” To start over and build a new life — on whatever level — is a step-by-step undertaking. Brick by brick I built my new life. If I let the days be symbolized by bricks, I have constructed quite an impressive monument over the past 20 years. But like any other building, it also needs looking after. And 20 years down the line, it is in sore need of renovation. That is difficult, as I evaluate my (energetic and other) resources and contemplate how much I am willing to invest.

When I first began work on this building of recovery, I didn’t know as much as I do now. Thus I used some materials which were not so appropriate, although they worked at the time. I’d say they are comparable to asbestos. Deep down I knew even then that they weren’t the healthiest substances, but I wasn’t ready to go for the top of the line just yet. Now I have a better sense of that.

To start over, I work with what I have. I do the best I can one day at a time. The available materials and resources are implemented, and with time are reevaluated and replaced when necessary. The comparison to a building simplifies this project of life. The real thing isn’t so clear cut. Yet there is an aspect of simplicity, because I don’t have to be perfect and know the end results now. It is a learning process.

One big thing I haved learned is to forgive myself. I forgive myself for wasting so much time being bulimic and anorexic. I forgive myself for wasting time in other ways as well. At this point, I can view it as necessary time, not wasted — although it does pain me at times, but I can live with that. Once I gave up the illusion that I woud figure things out and then live happily ever after, I was much better able to cope.

Day by day I deal with what comes along. I work on being my true self and fulfilling my calling in this life. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but that’s not the point. Just like a board game — we are all excited about playing and who’s going to win, but when it’s over, it’s almost a let-down. So for today, I’m enjoying the fact that I’m still on the board and experiencing the adventures.


Entry filed under: About Recovery, Coping. Tags: , , , , , , .

Still surprised Mr. Customs Man

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