Trigger warning: Sexual Abuse, Drug Addiction, Domestic Violence, Mention of Self-Harm
Good Day to My Fellow Warriors,

How are all my Angels doing out there? It’s coming into warmer weather which is bringing me back to days of happiness. I have always loved the warmth of spring days. I love thunderstorms; the rain washes the earth bringing new life into the world with a smell that just cannot be recreated. New life and recreation is the pivotal element of our lives in recovery from abuse, trauma, and addiction. Stepping from abuse, trauma, and/or addiction to recovery then into life can be exciting, however, it can also be extremely stressful and tremendously exhausting.  The new way of life we face, although peaceful and enjoyable, brings questions we might not have the answers to just yet. It also brings a sense of loss for our past life that we didn’t even consider we could ever have.

I have now been in my rehabilitation facility for over 5 months and I have wanted to leave several times to get back to “life” as an independent individual with no one to answer to. I have watched so many people come into this program and finish their time here; they have done thirty, sixty, or ninety days and moved on with their lives, leaving the facility with a smile and usually happy families to pick them up and take them back to their lives outside of rehabilitation.  As happy as I am for them, a twinge of jealousy stings my soul every time. 

I knew coming to rehabilitation that I needed longer-term recovery, however, I never anticipated just how much I would be affected by the others who were in the process of recovering and getting back to their lives after programming. My trauma started when I was very young and my trauma, turned into addiction and continued until I got on the plane to come to my saving grace.

I survived molestation at a very very young age; then again from 9 years of age until 14/15 years of age; I survived being physically, emotionally and, mentally abused at the hands of my stepfather; I thrived with a mother who I never had the opportunity to know as an emotionally available person; I survived through depression, anxiety, and serious mental health difficulties; I survived through different experiences with sexual violence; I survived domestic violence and abuse; I survived being human trafficked; and then, I survived my own addictions to hard narcotics.

I knew coming to rehabilitation that I was a survivor, but I did not know why. I did not understand why I continued to survive all of this trauma and pain. In fact, I was pretty angry that I had survived. I tried leaving the centre the first few nights I was in detox; I didn’t know how to live without my dope; I didn’t know how to live without chaos; I didn’t know how to live without being in pain.  The promise of living without suffering seemed to be a bit of a stretch for a woman who was in the process of becoming a woman of her own destiny. I got so out of control on the third night the nurse in detox had to threaten me with the police in order to get me to stop freaking out; that night I broke … finally, with the help of people who cared more about me than I did, I found myself in a safe place where I was able to let out my anger, sadness, and true darkness that consumed me. A woman, who I am now very fond of and see as one of my role models, came to me… she sat down and did something for me that I had never had in my life by a woman: she embraced me as I screamed that I wanted to end my own life. My screams faded into sobs… she held on tighter… I cried harder … this was the first of many spiritual experiences that I would come to have in my recovery.  She made me feel as though my feelings were valid, and I didn’t stop crying for a while, and she didn’t let go until I was ready for her to let go.  That was the first step in my journey to becoming a new person in a new life.

In recovery from trauma, abuse, and/or addiction we want to be better now, however, the healing process doesn’t and cannot happen overnight as what brought us to recovery did not happen overnight. It takes a lot of effort and patience to heal from what has taken us into our darkness in order to find our light.

I am still here trying to find myself; I am still here trying to navigate through my own thoughts and feelings; I am still here. That in itself is beyond what many people would have placed their bets on just 5 months ago. Going through everything we have been through and continuing to, not only live, but deciding to recover, allows us such qualities that are magnificent. We are resilient. We are empathetic. We are intelligent. We are courageous. We are diligent. We are prepared for any possible future challenges that arise in our lives. We are WARRIORS.

The choice to recover is a choice that not everyone has the option to make in their lives. If you are one of the lucky few who have found this kind of lifestyle change: GO HARD; KEEP GOING; NEVER STOP YOUR PROGRESS!!

In recovery, we find ourselves at many stages. I have to continuously remind myself that recovery does not end when group therapy is over; recovery does not end when the NA meeting is over; recovery does not end when the trauma therapy session is over; recovery does not end when I leave this rehabilitation facility; RECOVERY IS A LIFESTYLE!!

I have to remind myself not to rush the process, but instead to trust the process. Trust in yourself. Trust in the people around you that are willing to help you in this process. Trust in your Higher Power. Trust that your recovery is going to continue to improve as you continue to improve.

I have faith in all the WARRIORS that are going through this process with me. I have faith in anyone thinking about going through this process. I have faith in anyone wanting this process. I have faith in anyone willing to contemplate this process. We are not a dying breed; we are an army of Angels. Fight the good fight WARRIORS, no matter what fight you are fighting!!!

Always Got Your Back,
Angel Warrior 1Thousand