Don’t you wish you could just get on the “recovery elevator”, push a button and be where you want to be in no time? I’d go straight for the top…healing, wellness, wholeness, happiness… within seconds. But alas, there is no such elevator, no such pill, no such magic. There is just the journey of each step, one step at a time, and the journey is what you make it.
Let me tell you about my stairs… When I began my journey, my stairway was long and windy and sometimes, dark and scary. There were days when I thought I’d never be able to make it to the next landing. I was focused on where I was going and where I wanted to be and not taking the time or spending the energy on the step I was on, and focusing on the moment. I tried skipping steps, jumping from one and landing several ahead, but then I was stuck because I did not learn what I needed to on the previous steps. Then I would slip and fall and end up right back on the step I jumped from and had to start again, this time making sure to acknowledge and participate in each step along the way. (When I speak of “steps”, I do not mean 12-steps but you can relate my story to them as well.)
There were times my stairway had nothing for me to hold on to. There were no handrails to support me, no walls to protect me; there was just faith and hope to guide me. Some people have no problems running up and down stairways like these but not me! At times I felt lost and unsure. I felt off balance and fearful. I couldn’t just close my eyes and take the next step. I had to focus on my footing (remember what I had learned), lift my foot carefully (make the right choices) and firmly plant it on the next step (believe in myself). At times is was mentally and emotionally exhausting.
My stairway had many twists and turns. I can’t tell you how many times I felt like, “I’ve already been here” or “I’ve already done that”. It seems as though lessons I thought I already learned were right back in my face again and I had to do it all over. At times I was so frustrated and tired and felt like I would never get anywhere; like the change I needed to make was just out of my grasp. What I finally realized was that each time I faced these challenges, it was easier than the last time I face it.
My stairway had landings every now and then so that I could rest, recompose myself and reflect back on the journey of how far I had come. When you are focused and paying attention to where you are at and doing the necessary work to move to the next step of your journey, sometimes you cannot see just how far you have really traveled. The landings were peaceful and refreshing. Light was beginning to shine on my stairway and I could see how much progress I had truly made and it was exciting. It gave me the encouragement I needed to continue on.
I am a “recovering” codependent. It is a journey that never ends. There is no “cure”, no “easy fix”. There is just the journey, forward and up, and my willingness to participate in my own journey to the best of my ability. Today I am on one of those landings and I can see how far I have truly come. I “feel” the person that I have changed into. I am mentally and emotionally stronger and healthier than I have ever been. I no longer dread the stairway, the process, the changes… I welcome them. I look forward with anticipation to them. I will continue on my journey, knowing that no matter what I face along the way, I am enough. I will be able to handle it and I will grow from it.
Do not let fear keep you stuck from taking that next step! Remember, it is your journey…learn & grow!