During early recovery we often talk about our first 24, 36 or 48 hours of sobriety. Where were we? How did was pass time? Did we experience detoxification in a safe environment, or did we survive on our own root desire and strength?
My first 24 hours of sobriety were spent in the emergency room. After my daughter and ex-husband called our local crisis center for my placement, they dropped me off. However, the” bouncer” at the door conducted a breathalyzer on me. The results came in; I was over the legal limit and was unable to enter their facility until I went through a detox in the hospital.
After they took my vitals, and my shoes (I threatened to run away and go home) I slept intermittently until the following day. Around noon I was taken to the Hope House, where my journey into recovery would begin. I spent six days there. I learned how to conduct myself in group therapy, took walks, participated in cut and paste projects (with child proof scissors and glue sticks), and began the intense sugar cravings accompanied my new sobriety. The experience was an education in the varying degrees of addiction and a sincere eye opener.
The following is an email I sent my loved ones on day two in recovery. With a fresh 10 months of sobriety, I can now read between the lines. I was scared. I was ashamed. And I was incredibly sad. Yet as you will see, I seem optimistic and relieved in the email. The experience seems surreal now. I had no idea when I typed those words that I was about to embark on a life altering endeavor.
I am doing well. Getting lots of rest and enjoying the opportunity for therapy and talking with the other residents. The stories are interesting, colorful, tragic, and inspiring.
I must say, I feel like it’s a cross between the Bob Newhart show, Big Brother, and a dysfunctional episode of The Brady Bunch. I think by saying that, every generation of our family will understand what I mean. There are two residents that are really a mess, and I thank God that I am not that manic. We all have issues; they just differ in the way they manifest.
Yesterday we did an exercise in group therapy. We were each given two cups. In one cup we had to find things from nature that represented what we felt represented our weaknesses. For every one of those weaknesses, we had to find two things to represent our strengths.
In my “bad” cup, I chose a dead dandelion, a piece of bark, and a gray rock:
Dead dandelion = that I am feeling stagnant, with the “beautiful” part of my season gone.
Bark = not sustaining the life of my “tree” (s), feeling old.
Gray rock = feeling a loss of my shine and exuberance.
Now the good news, in my good cup:
A red leaf = representing my fire. The fire that I know I have inside me, that I need to reignite.
A blade of grass = representing “music”. As in Grandma teaching me how to make a song out of that blade of grass and that I have the ability to “sing” and find joy in my own music (not literally; I can’t sing…but figuratively)
A living dandelion = that I have the opportunity and faith to distribute these seeds of life to my kids and to have a positive impact on those around me
A rock that resembles a Petoskey stone = representing the youth in me, and my ability to block out outside influences while I seek peace through my focus and intent.
It was very cool. There was another group session in the evening that was even more enlightening.
In all this has been a very positive experience. The time had come to seek guidance, and I believe this is just the place I needed to start.
Thanks for all of your kind words and help this week. I should be home by Friday.
The girls came to visit me last night. Jessa with a big smile and a Diet Coke. Emma was very sullen and didn’t want to talk. Emma agreed to go to her counselor this week to get some advice.
Love you all,