What does the 4th of July and Recovery Mean To You
This is different for each one of us. First of all, I think about the people who have served our country and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their service to our country. The Fourth of July holiday means fireworks, cookouts, swimming, relaxing and spending time with family. Hence, as I drive up to spend time with my family this year, I realize the progress in my own recovery.
During my last visit, I shared with my aunt how hurt I was over my sister’s alcoholism and her abuse towards me. In retrospect, I was not in a good place emotionally. My sister’s alcoholic behavior had affected me deeply. Becoming more depressed, more anxious, more angry and hurt, I wanted to stay in bed. I had started attending a support group for myself as the therapist I was seeing said there wasn’t much else she could do at this point.
On my last visit home, my aunt said one thing to me that made sense: I couldn’t make my sister want to get help. In addition, I realized my aunt was right. Trying to light a fire under my sister to get help was not something I could do. She resisted. Every. Step. Of. The. Way. The drinking, the domestic abuse, emotional abuse and the choice to stay in a marriage is her doing. Not mine. Especially relevant, trying to understand her resentment and hatred towards me, I start to detach from her. Making the choice to move forward is hard work and this is something she is choosing not to do. But I have to for my own sanity.
Making a choice to not give in to anxiety, depression and grief is not easy. In order to keep moving and stay in the moment, I tell myself “Just For Today”. “Just For Today” – I will go for a walk and keep my hands busy in order to keep my mind busy. “Just For Today” I will choose not to keep the rewind button playing in my mind of the past. Sometimes, it is “Just For This Minute”or “Just For This Second”. Therefore, making the choice to move forward is hard work. To keep moving and stay in the moment is hard, when I feel the paralyzing anxiety creeping over me. However, when I feel myself falling downward in the black pit of emotions, I now tell myself “Just For Today”- I am not going to let emotions get the best of me.
Your Personal Celebration
Most of all, as I drive home from this 4th of July, I realize the progress I am making. However, practicing detachment has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. In retrospect, I realize how far I have come to far in my own journey. I can’t be a willing passenger in someone’s joy ride. My Fourth of July celebration is celebrating a new emotional independence. Still having a long way to go, I am proud of the progress I have made. With time and hard work, I know I am going to adjust.
How about you? What journey have you faced that needs celebrating? I would love to hear.