Walking Backwards

Sometimes I wish I hadn’t stopped going to meetings.  I pretend that I don’t know what happened.  I do know.  I took my eye off the ball.  I stopped going to as many meetings, became involved in other things, let my “recovery” such as it was take a back seat.  I had been warned about it.  Warned not to let other things take precedence over meetings.  I didn’t ignore those warnings deliberately- I let things slide.  I did, and sometimes I regret that.  But for me, to return would be to step backwards.  I can only move forwards.  I’m not arrogant enough to believe that I couldn’t go back.  I’m not ashamed of what they would call a “relapse”.  But I also don’t view it that way any more.  Nothing dramatic has happened since I started drinking again.  I haven’t been on week-long benders, I haven’t hurt myself, to the best of my knowledge I haven’t hurt anyone else.  Things are not as they were.  In a sense, I stand to lose more right now than I did when I stopped drinking.  But I am not losing it… I have some kind of a grip.

What do I miss?  I think in part it’s the very thing I don’t miss, the very thing that I have criticised negatively.  It’s the sense of recovery as integral to me as a person.  It’s an identity.  That’s something I definitely don’t want for myself- for my identity to be defined by something I do rather than something I am.  I mean, I’ve written about that before.  I “am” not bipolar (I have it), I “am” not my weight (I weigh it).  I “am” not recovery, so I don’t want that to have become my single defining characteristic.  Yet I do miss it, and sometimes I wonder what that means.

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