Intermediate Recovery: Releasing Certain Recovery Labels

I received news this week, good news, in the form of a package in the mail.  News towards which I have been working for nearly 3 1/2 years, longer even than my sober time.

In the interest of privacy, and brevity, because the story could fill the pages of a novel, the package in the mail put a final period on the sentence:  The consequences of my addiction.  Hmmm… come to think of it, that isn’t even a sentence.  Oh well.

Someone once joked that the period of time waiting for this package was longer than the period of active addiction; depending how you define active addiction, that is an accurate statement.

So how did I celebrate this milestone?  Did I call every person I know, shout it from the rooftops, rent a billboard along I-95?

None of the above; some friends or family may in fact be finding out the news by virtue of reading this post (sorry guys).

So what gives?  I’m not sure, and of course, I am using my old stand-by of this blog to help me figure it out.

The first thought that comes to mind when I pose the question why aren’t you more excited about this incredible blessing is:  disbelief.  It’s been so long in the making, there have been so many setbacks, I feel like doubting Thomas, needing to put my fingers in the side of Christ before I believe He has risen.  The paperwork is in my hands, and I’m still making phone calls in order to verify its existence, for Pete’s sake!

But I think, skepticism aside, there’s something deeper at play here, and, ironically enough, I think it has to do with fear.  Ironic, of course, because the very post before this one I wrote how I can’t figure out how fear plays out in my life.  Be careful what you wish for!

So of what am I fearful?  I’m still uncertain, I mean, really, it’s only been a couple of days since I wrote that I don’t understand fear, how much could I have possibly learned in a couple of days?

On the most obvious level, while the package represents the end of the most tumultuous time in my entire life, a good thing, by extension that means it also marks the beginning of a new era, and change will be afoot as a result.  Who isn’t a little fearful of change?

There is also a fear in trusting a process to do what it is supposed to have done, and I can say with certainty fear in trusting that process is an issue.  Human error occurs all the time, I know I make mistakes, what if I trust this process and I wind up getting burned?  It’s like jumping out of an airplane and trusting that the parachute is actually going to work, certainly that fear is going to run through your head at least for a split second, right?  It might even keep you from jumping.  Note to self:  now that I’ve written that, I will not let this fear keep me from jumping, dammit!  See this solution-by-blogging thing is already working!

Finally, and this is the part that is still somewhat elusive, almost hazy, in my mind:  I think there’s a fear in letting go of this part of my identity.  Which is a really strange thing to say, given that it is an entirely negative identity (I mean, I’ve labeled it  consequences of active addiction, the title alone should indicate how negative it is). For the first year of my sobriety, I struggled to come up with a solution for resolving the consequence, the second year, I did the hard work to resolve the consequence; the last year and half was the fight to get my hard work recognized so that the resolution would actually happen.

And now it has, and, I don’t know, there’s this crazy, almost empty feeling.  Really, really strange.  And yes, now that therapy that I keep “dissing” will come in handy, perhaps my therapist will help me better understand.  I hope to have a positive update to resolving this hazy fear next week!

Today’s Miracle:

There is a wonderful new website, addiction. com, I highly recommend you check out.  And if you choose to do so, why not start with an article that’s got my ugly mug in it?  Here’s the link:

Posted on April 8, 2015, in Intermediate Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Untipsyteacher

    You are lovely!!
    You are also a wonderful inspiration!


  2. Josie,

    Congrats on whatever it is.

    In my own personal existence, have always thought of this as waiting for the other foot to drop, or what goes around comes around and I must have a lot of bad stuff yet to come around, or whatever.

    But I thought in those terms for a long period of time. I have decided that unless there is some grand karmic thing that is going to kick me in the ass at some point to be revealed, I am just going to live it one-day-at-a-time and enjoy the benefits of sobriety.




    • Thanks, Robert. When I first read your comment, I thought, “Nah, that’s not it!” (while of course appreciating the comment, as I always do when I hear from you L:) ) Anyway, fast forward a day, and another bit of good news came my way. My husband referenced it, and I immediately worried that we are celebrating prematurely. I said to him, this very morning, “has this been a long-standing habit of mine, worrying when good things come my way?” Without hesitation he said, “For as long as I’ve known you.”

      Proving once again, Robert, you are my personal Yoda! I shall enjoy both blessings that have come my way this week, and I shall think of you as I do. Thank you, as always, for lighting the way for me!


  3. I love that phrase “solution by blogging.” Can I borrow it?

    Sometimes I’ve caught myself in the childish “negative attention is better than no attention” loop. Even when the consequences are negative I feel empty and lost without them. I know it’s totally illogical, insane addict thinking but I do it nonetheless. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing this thinking and resulting destructive behavior but it still sneaks up on me sometimes. One of many character defects in my case.

    Thank you for sharing this.


    • You most certainly may borrow it, m, and I hope when you do you find the solution… I always do!

      This comment really made me reflect, and I’m wondering if there’s some truth to that for me. And while I agree that it is illogical, I am also reluctantly seeing that I may be holding on for that very reason… what shall I talk about/complain about if this is gone?

      Very insightful… not fun to consider, but the truth is the truth, and I am not sure I would have figured that one out on my own. Much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, Josie, whatever it is that’s arrived, I hope that your blogging has helped you to clarify your feelings and relieve you of your fear. Hugs to you today


    • Hi Bea, are you home from vacay? I need to get into my reader and see what you’ve been up to 😉

      Thank you for checking in, yes, blogging always, always, ALWAYS helps me to clarify. It is nothing short of incredible to me that the simple of act writing clears the mental fog, every time!

      I shall take that hug, thank you kindly 🙂


  5. Congrats on your “good news” 🙂 Thank you for the link to another great website; I don’t see an “ugly mug” there, I see a lovely sober warrior!


  6. Whatever it is, good for you. For endings and beginnings.
    Don’t let fear steal joy from today!



  7. I too congratulate you Josie…and know that at some point, when you are able to, you will tell us more!!!! Change, fear and the unknown are hard. Especially in recovery…even though we are asked to change just about everything about ourselves! My guess, is this is a beautiful gift of that sobriety and I can’t wait to hear all about it!!!!! Hugs!


  8. I’m emailing you. You’d better pick up. 😉



  9. When I read this, I couldn’t help but wonder if your fear is rooted in a disbelief that you deserve, can maintain, and embrace a life without chaos or punishments? Maybe now that the last piece of your tumultuous life has left, you are faced with a realization that everything is good….. I don’t know. It’s very possible I’m projecting, lol, but I felt compelled to share the thoughts.

    In any case, congrats on the good news, yay for therapy, and thanks so much for your blog and honesty. I have added it to my reading list and have come to look forward to new posts, as they always spark needed introspection for me.



    • Yes, yes and yes! Through all of these amazing comments, not the least of which this one, vv, I am realizing that I am doing exactly this… a disbelief that I deserve it. I mentioned this earlier, but another bit of good news came my way, I reacted the same way, and my husband let me know that this has been a pattern of mine for as long as he’s known me. Incredible what we discover about ourselves as we take the journey of recovery!

      It means the world to me to know that my blog inspires another, so I appreciate your kind words more than I can ever say. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, vv!


  1. Pingback: solution by blogging | the liminal life of m

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