Miracles happen every day to recovering addicts. I’ve seen so many they have become unremarkable, ordinary in an extraordinary way.
I’ve seen hopeless cases of people who finally get clean or sober and find they can live and love for perhaps the first time in their lives.
I’ve seen people stagger into recovery, weighed down by their fears and shame who, over the months and years, blossom into honest, decent members of society.
I’ve seen people get jobs they never thought they’d find, have babies they never thought they deserved, meet partners who bring them joy, not endless drama.
It’s remarkable what happens when the drugs or the alcohol, the food, relationships or gambling, are put down and real life is given a chance to uncurl.
I don’t know how this happens. I’m content to accept that it does, marvel at the process and then let it go. After all, I have my own miracle of life to attend to.
But finding recovery hasn’t meant a fairytale happy ending. I’ve gone through divorce and illness since coming off the painkillers.
Working my recovery meant finally accepting I had to leave my marriage, with a young baby in tow, with fears of financial and emotional insecurity, and with the damage inflicted by the relationship to face.
Looking back, I’m proud I made that decision. I’m proud I didn’t deny the problems and stay in something that may have sent me back into that hurt place that, ultimately, I may have medicated.
My son is now a happy, healthy boy, full of joy and curiosity, and I know that he is surrounded by love and only love. No dramas. No emotional mess, nothing that will keep him from discovering his own path in his own time.
As I rebuild our lives, and our sense of what it is to be a family, I look out at the waves caressing the shoreline of our seaside home, and I finally feel a sense of dignity and peace.