Walking Down the Recovery Road

This is dedicated to all who are faced with letting go of difficult people.

Early in my recovery, I thought this old story was so cute and so real. Today, I see it a bit differently. My recovery perhaps began when I made some bad choices on how to hide from pain. Drugs and drinking were the first answers. There was nowhere else to turn. Eventually, I made healthier choices but was still hiding. I didn’t know it. I just kept avoiding. Skiing lifted me out of the negative ways but was also a way to hide.  Good but bad, right? I was teaching and helping others.  I taught for the SkiForAll organization where I worked with disabled populations teaching and leading others. I was passionate about giving to people who deserved a better chance.  I helped people feel better about themselves and gave them the thrill of accomplishment – for once they learned to ski, the world opened up.  But then I got hurt. Soon afterward, I learned that I never really faced my demons. That’s when this little ditty became a part of my life.

The stages of recovery? Now I see it as a lifetime pathway to wholeness. By the time I heard this story my partying days of youth were long over. Giving up those mechanisms was not the problem. I wasn’t addicted. I stopped when I stopped and never looked back. The reasons for hiding were always there until I learned the three A’s – Awareness, Acceptance, and then Action. You can’t heal it until you feel it. And you can’t feel it if you refuse to see it.

I’ve always seen things a bit differently. I’ve always taken a slightly different road. I’m either way ahead or way behind the tribe. Some days I think I’m the slowest learner in the pack, but then I remember how many times I was first. I guess it’s all in perspective. 

My Walk Down Recovery Road: Stages of Awareness to Recovery

Stage 1: I walk down a street and fall in a hole. I don’t think much about why — I climb out, dust off, and go on about my day.

Stage 2: I walk down the same street, leery of the hole, but can’t help but glance in. Boom. Down I go again. This time, I know I’m doing something wrong. Climb out. Try to figure out why I fell in again. Still don’t quite get it.

Stage 3: I walk down the same street, but I walk on the other side of the street. I know the hole is there. But I can’t resist looking at the hole again. Something powerful draws me there. I hesitate. But dang it, I can’t help myself. I walk over and look down to see if it is really as big as I remembered. Bam! Down I go. This time, I slowly climb out thinking about how I need to just not look at the damn hole.

Stage 4: I walk down the same street from the opposite direction and on the opposite side of the street. I see it, and I wonder — isn’t that hole filled in yet? This time, I don’t look. Ooops — wait, I peeked. I’m so done with this damned hole. This time, I climb out, knowing that I am to blame. I wouldn’t keep getting hurt if I just stayed off this street.

Stage 5: I walk down a different street, avoiding all the potholes I see. And I am dedicated to finding a new city if this one doesn’t stop sucking me into it’s holes.

Yeah, this is more like my story. The original doesn’t cut it.

It’s a time for letting go.


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