“What is Real?” asked the Rabbit one day. “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you.” “Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit. “Sometimes” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “Does it happen all at once?” “You become Real. It takes a long time. But once you are Real, you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always… .”
from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Today, as I stood before the judge in family court, I found myself having difficulty paying attention to what was being said. I was “counting the cost” of my addiction. As I stood there, I remembered the first, the second, maybe the third….and finally the last time I literally and figuratively stepped out of my life and into the arms of a force so violent and malevolent and so all-consuming… . My addiction never told me all that I was going to lose. It never told me of the things I would willingly sacrifice at it’s feet; never knowing that it could never be satisfied. And it never told me that my children would be the first and the final casualties of my having surrendered my entire being to this savage god.
Today marks the 936th day of my Recovered Life. As I look back over land that I have traveled to this point, I am still rocked to the core as I remember some of the darkest nights that were followed by some of the brightest dawns…as I look back I finally understand why the Process is so necessary. I understand why recovery literature speaks of “certain steps…” we must take. When I think about who I was 936 days ago-newly sober and convinced that I WANTED IT ALL AND RIGHT NOW but not even able to conceive of the intricacy or the delicate nature of the work I was about to embark upon.
It is my experience and humble opinion, that true Recovery really has very little to do with abstaining from drugs. But allow me to clarify-Recovery cannot happen unless one does stop the use of any mind or mood altering substance. As I have said before,
“…once I manifested this thinking error, I effectively removed myself from “a Being greater than myself’s” plan or purpose or design for me. It is at that point that I cut myself off the Energy afforded to me by the Universe. I now KNOW this energy is God. Once that “disconnect” happened-I was fair game for any random evil or dark thing to grab my attention and become manifest in me…”
So, with the exactness and patience of a surgeon cutting away all the diseased parts, ever mindful of even the minutiae, God began the work in me, of reconciling me to Himself.
I stood before that judge, searching every place inside me, trying to remember all that I have learned in 936 days. I know that I now understand that I don’t have to feel good in order to be doing good. My feelings are fleeting and temporal and should never be used as a gauge measuring my success. And I now know that even in the midst of tears and utter heartbreak I can know and possess complete Joy. But as I stood there I understood that it wasn’t enough for me to just know these truths…I must stand close to them and embrace them…I must abide in these truths regardless of the storms raging around me.
I have learned in the beautiful, intricate details of my “reconciliation” that love is only as good as the lover and I need to make it my urgent business knowing and learning of the Ultimate Lover of my Soul so that I can understand what to seek and accept while I am here on earth.
Another lesson that I know understand is the importance of never leaving one’s children uncovered by a mother’s love. Now I understand that once our children live a few 24 hours outside of the womb, there are so many things we no longer have control over. But I’m talking about the rendering up of my children in the throes of selfishness; forgetting that they need every bit of me to love and protect and to nurture them. I understand that being a “good” momma has very little to do with making sure that my babies are pretty and clean but more to do with providing tools to be able to function in this world. I understand now, the high calling of leading children back to the One who loves them better than I-the Creator.
…..so as I stand in this courtroom before this judge and spectators who really care very little about me or my babies or my journey, I am so deeply and profoundly grateful. From the top of my head to the very tips of my toes I am filled with the knowledge that is more precious and more beautiful than any fancy gift that this world could ever give me. Today, I know beyond knowing that I have been Redeemed! I know that all that I have lost and more has been given back to me. Today, I will abide in this Truth-I will tarry here. This knowledge is like a lover that grows more beautiful with time…it gets sweeter everyday. Yes, it’s in the abiding of the Process that we extract all the nectar from the fruit, all the honey from the comb, all of the choisest meat found next to the bone…
As I left that courtroom, I looked at that slip of paper telling me that all my rights had been restored. Finally, I just folded it and slipped it into my pocket. I hurried home to my beloveds; my beauties on this 936th day. There is where I belong, ever abiding in His grace and mercy and everlasting love. Yes, grateful for more lessons on the “abiding…”