Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everyone Deserves a Life

Every year, as I start getting closer to celebrating my recovery clean date, I find myself wishing deeply that every woman who needs help to get clean, will get that help. Here is my message for each and every one of them.

Dear Newcomer,

One day you will look in the mirror and cry to yourself, “I just can’t do this anymore.” And you will put down your drink, your drug, your hell. You will stop the behaviour.
That’s Step One.
One day you will realize that against all odds, you have made it through a day (or through a “thing”) without using anything or getting loaded, and you will think to yourself, “Maybe there is something to this new way of life, maybe I can do this.”
That’s Step Two.
One day you will experiment with letting go of control of something that you have been hanging on to so tightly that it is killing you, and everything will turn out okay.
That’s Step Three.
One day you will look back over your past and start figuring out what you did wrong, and what you did right, and in so doing you will identify the patterns that ruled and (probably) still rule your life.
That’s Step Four.
One day you will share your past and your pain with another woman who has been where you have been, and through her understanding and acceptance, you will come to know that those things you can’t forgive yourself for are only things that you did, they are not who you are.
That’s Step Five.
One day you will finally become willing to change those patterns that still keep you from being your highest self, and once again you will come to believe that you can, if you choose to, change your life for the better. But it’s going to take some more work.
That’s Step Six.
One day you will try to replace just one of your character defects with its spiritual opposite, and the relief you will feel when you succeed will compel you to try to replace another one.
That’s Step Seven.
One day you will realize or remember that something you once said or did to another human being caused that person extreme pain, and you will find yourself wishing you could take it back, or make things right.
That’s Step Eight.
One day you will go to that person and say, “I am sorry, I have changed.” He or she may or may not be ready or willing to forgive you, but you will feel a great burden lift, just for having made the effort.
That’s Step Nine.
One day you will look back over your day before you close your eyes and recognize the moments in your day where you absolutely got something right, and reflect upon areas where you know you want to do better tomorrow.
That’s Step Ten.
One day you will realize that a few days have passed since you felt unworthy of the grace and the gifts that you are experiencing in your life, and you will start to wonder what else a higher power might have in mind for you.  
That’s Step Eleven.
One day you will recognize the same pain in another woman, that you once felt yourself. Perhaps you will see it in her eyes, or read it in her words. You will reach out to that woman with all that you are, all that you have learned and all that you know to be true. You will tell her that one day she will look in the mirror and realize that she can’t do it anymore. You will tell her that when that day comes, you will be there for her, just as others were here for you.
This is Step Twelve.


  1. I LOVE THIS!!
    Every DAY I mourn for the struggling addict. I wish I could say just the right thing and voilla' they'd be released from the chains. Just as quickly as I think that I'm always reminded that there is nothing we can do except be here when they're ready!
    My door is open,
    I know yours always is as well - and i thank you

  2. btw - what group are you a member of at "she writes?" I'm in the writer's club
    friend me!! :)