Love and Hope in Recovery

There will be times when things feel so tough that you honestly and truly don’t feel like there is a way to get through it. And then when you finally do find your way out there comes yet another time and another time where you don’t feel like you can find your way.

When I first stopped drinking things felt like hell on earth, to feel my emotions with such intensity, the sad ones, the scary ones, the haunting ones, my mind did not like me at all. As time went on I started to see the light in unexpected places, the flowers in my garden, the birds, the geckos, the blue sky, the sun shining, the turquoise waters, through the eyes of my dogs. The things in my life that I hadn’t been paying attention to for so long suddenly became so vivid and important. My hell on earth gradually became my heaven. Angels came to me in all shapes and sizes, through the natural world, through people, through a smile from a stranger, a hug from someone I had just met, something inside me began to awaken. While I was still feeling those emotionally demanding feelings I started to feel the awe inspiring ones too. Never in my life had I experienced life so full on, with every fiber of my being, I was coming alive.

One afternoon when I thought I was finished drinking for good but wasn’t fully on board just yet but thought I was and knew deep down that I had to get my shit together but still believing all was fine, that fateful afternoon/evening/night, yes, that one, when everything came to a grinding halt.

Towards the end of that afternoon I decided to have a Coors Light in a can just because it was there. I don’t even like Coors Light, at all. What’s interesting is that my first ‘drunk’ ever was from Coors Light in a can at the age of 12 or 13? I can’t even remember. All I know is that the outcome of this particular beer was horrible the first time around and terrifying the last time around. Before I knew it one turned into a few and a few more and that night was lost, as so many previous nights had been lost.

That particular night something happened to me, something came over me, something in me could not take it anymore, something felt different. The feelings of guilt, shame, and upset, the self hatred all came piling down on me, and hard. I drove home and sat in my car in the driveway crying my eyes out. Angry at myself for drinking, again… for fucking up, hating myself so much that I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Thinking the world despised me.

As I sat in my car with the windows rolled down a hummingbird flew right in front of my face, it circled around me for what felt like an eternity. It stopped me so hard, it stole my heart, it woke me up, it made me cry harder, it made me see that someone or something out there was watching over me. I did have an angel, we all have angels. This is when it all began.

Now whenever I land myself dead in my tracks in my sobriety, in life, in a sad space, a lonely place, a trying place, I remember that this too shall pass, what is meant to be will be. I trust that I am being taken care of and I trust that fully. The moment that trust slips away I come crashing down with it and this instantly reminds me that there is a choice. It’s on nights like tonight when I miss my family, my old life, when I am struggling with friendships, relationships, fighting with myself, that there is a choice. I do believe that we need to feel all of our emotions and love all of them, all of ourselves, every little bit of us in order to fully let that choice sink in.

While it may feel so painful in those moments you have a choice to feel despair and upset or you can choose love and hope. Rather than waiting for someone else to make you feel loved, comforted, better, whole, remember that you have the power inside of you all the time, any time, you just have to recognize it and let it shine. I choose love and hope, always.

‘Hope… Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else. If you have it, you have everything.’ Unknown

With love,

Ashleigh

3 thoughts on “Love and Hope in Recovery

  1. Brilliant Ashleigh. You are an extraordinary writer … use this skill to take you to the stars. I’ll read everything you write!!! love ya, Faye 0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0

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  2. Ashleigh, You’ve created something I always wanted to do in TCI. You have reminded me how important it is to be the great ambassador of what we believe in. Love that you are doing this program from the crazy little rock in the TCI.. All the best wishes, MOB.

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