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Choosing to Live: Recovery after Relapse

Here at Palm Partners we are very lucky to have a guest blogger, Justin McKibben, who has shared his experience strength and hope with us. Below is his story and I hope it helps someone in the community the same way it has helped me; a very powerful and inspiring message.

“I’ve found myself in treatment again in what seems like an act of divine intervention. Exactly the same time last year I was sitting in the same seat. Broken. My addiction had stripped me several times of my will to live, my love of self and any fraction of faith that the world would ever allow me anything more than the fleeting numbness I could scrape together.

After treatment I made the effort and dedicated myself to a thriving recovery community, however I fooled myself into false security. Eight months of service, 12 steps, sponsorship and a growing connection to spiritual evolution had created the most liberating and fulfilling moments of my life. However, once I left my foundation in search of financial compensations, my disease of ‘more’ was sparked again and a new level of hunger dragged me to my bottom quicker and deeper than I had known before sobriety.

Every short-coming and dead end is a blessing, and relapse was a gift in my journey because for me it created new understanding, humility and desperation. The delusion that my recovery and quality of life was to my credit, alone, was abruptly shattered – proving beyond borders of pride or logic that the wholeness and happiness I was graced with came only from respect for the sickness and for the divinity that filled me up to smother the gluttony of a junkie’s need for that limitless ‘more.’

Now, I’m able to see the truth of it all and the battle lines have been clearly drawn in the sand of the beaches of Boca. Recovery is not a cure in the general sense; it is a life worth fighting for. What’s changed is that I now know that what I do is makes a difference every single day. The struggles I face now are only of my own making. Fear of not achieving the life I once had, of not finding enough passion every day to reach the same peaks, all of the insecurities of guilt and failure are just slipping through the cracks of my foundation as I strain to rebuild it.

Fear is the infection that feeds my addiction but, I am being reminded more every day of how empty of an emotional response it is. The basis of that reaction is simply some level of love trying to discover itself, to protect itself, or to learn from itself. These doubts are merely me misunderstanding the path set before me and positions my mind can’t process; when I breathe with my heart, lean on the trust of my God, and give myself enough slack, I realize that I don’t always need to understand where I am. I find there is nowhere I can be that isn’t where I’m meant to be.

A Sufi mystic said something to the effect that anything and everything is made of love, nothing is an exception, and in believing those words all of my troubles are just an opportunity to give, receive or grow through love so that I see that ‘more’ is not necessary; there’s always enough love. No numbness, no drug, no fear can negate that. The life I had in 8 months of recovery is one I won’t have again; I will now be blessed with an even greater life, with an even greater respect and opportunity as long as I’m willing to live and fight for it.”

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

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