The holidays are over, and it’s back to the routine. It’s January, and you hope the rest of the winter isn’t too cold. You may be looking forward to winter sports, MLK Day and Valentine’s Day, but you still hope it’s not a harsh winter. It’s not that you can’t take it—you just don’t want to have to take it.
You have to go out early one morning, to get the mail, look for your pet, or run across to the laundry room. You don’t have shoes handy, so you scoot across the cold concrete of the sidewalk in bare feet. You knew it was going to be cold, but you forgot how cold the squares of concrete could be. The bottoms of your feet start to ache with the weight of each step, and you start moving faster.
Then you reach a patch of sidewalk that is in the sunlight. It’s still cold, but the relative warmth is soothing. Your feet don’t ache. The surface is still hard, but the sight of the sunlight and the warmer temperature on your skin provide a sense of relief that is a small joy, in the moment.
Early recovery is like that. You’ve been cold for a while. People have been distant, because you pushed them away, or they needed to protect themselves. You lost track of childhood friends, and others you knew before the addiction. You have ignored your own emotions, and lied to yourself, to justify continuing to drink and use. You’ve been creating an unlighted vacuum, in your heart and in the world, and you have driven out any illumination that once guided you. And yes…it’s cold.
Then, you find some sunlight. It might be your best friend, a stranger, the law, or your will to live, but something leads you to ask for help. Help may come in many forms, but it always includes a change of direction, a refusal to stand on the cold concrete. It means we stop hurrying to escape the cold, and step into the warmth. It means we let the sunlight heat us, and clean us, and give us back our own radiance that emanates from within. We forget our cold feet, and we walk toward a meaningful, grateful new morning.
Are you out in the cold? Are you tired of missing the sunshine? Asking for help is the beginning of your new day! Call Sobriety Matters at 713-904-4699. We know the way back to warmth, health and happiness!