Tomorrow Still Holds No Mistakes
When I was first approached by NEDIC with the opportunity to submit a blog post several emotions overcame me. The most overbearing emotion was guilt. Although I felt minimal feelings of honour, accomplishment, and a sense of pride, just because my recovery has not been picturesque, that same voice who fed my ED for years was still screaming at endless decibels that I was not good enough. I was a false example of life in recovery. My lost count of slips since leaving residential treatment were by no means something I should have any pride in. It took me a good two weeks after receiving the email for me to gain enough confidence to consider the offer.
I think that my newfound confidence is warranted proof that I am a survivor. It is proof that even four months after leaving my second attempt at residential treatment I still struggle everyday with the same voices, and demons inside my head. It took two weeks of endless excuses on why I didn’t deserve to share my story, why my recovery has been anything but perfect, and at times even seems non-existent, for me to come to the raw realization that I AM living in recovery. I am becoming an example for hundreds of women and men who have struggled with similar battles: This journey is never ever the same twice over. I think that as a perfectionist, this is one of the hardest things I’ll ever come to terms with throughout my life in recovery. I too often than not find myself comparing my life after treatment with past fellow survivors. This is just as damaging and life-threatening as the disease itself.
These past two weeks have brought a whole new world into perspective for me. This recovery: It is mine. The story behind where I’ve brought myself today: Mine. The shameful slips, body shaming and negative self-talk: Mine. But the decision to fight for a life that I deserve: That was mine too.
Since leaving treatment I have spent endless hours critiquing everything that I am doing wrong in order to lead a life in recovery, which has yet to do me any good. I made a conscious decision these past two weeks to acknowledge the small, simple things that are different in my everyday life today versus a year ago.
So last week when my boyfriend offered to pick up dinner I asked for a poutine and let my thoughts be at ease with the fact that a poutine would not ruin the rest of my day or week and that I could enjoy every minute of it without convincing myself I was “bingeing.” Later on that week when we went to a family dinner, I was able to make my plate alone without his assistance and eat in a group setting with minimal anxiety. These are just two of several small achievements, which would once have been catastrophic ordeals in my life.
These past two weeks I have realized that there is no “right” or “perfect” way to live in recovery. Simply putting one foot in front of the other every day, with the peace of mind that knowing tomorrow still holds no mistakes, is more than enough of a reason to be sharing!
Kenzie DiMaria is 22-year-old mother reaping the benefits of recovery and looking forward to returning to school in the fall to pursue a career in nursing. She hopes to someday work within the mental health field raising awareness for individuals suffering with addiction.