In this recovery business, I’ve been asked many times, “What do you need?”
Damned if I know.
I kinda figure if I knew what I need, I’d have figured out how to get it by now.
WGT is a big believer in being the “master of your own recovery” . . . picking and choosing the ways you want to heal. I completely support this. Being forced into crazy groups in treatment that had NO application to my life only made me pull away farther with the “these people don’t know what the fuck they’re doing . . . they can’t fix me” mentality.
I still don’t always know what I need, (I’m usually better at knowing what I DON’T need), but when I do know, I’m getting better at asking for it. (Thank you all for the stories about what makes YOU feel beautiful. You’re inspiring and brave.) Sometimes, however, people don’t listen to what you’re asking for. They tell you what they THINK will help you, but oftentimes even what seems harmless enough can do more damage than good, depending on where you’re at in your recovery process. I’m still not good at having a voice in those moments to say “Hey, thank you, but that’s REALLY not what I need right now.” I’d usually rather just not rock the boat.
Usually what I think people in this recovery process need more than anything is an ear. We have professionals (usually) who we pay for advice, so unless we ask directly for it, it’s usually not what we’re looking for. (Whole lot of “usuallys” in this paragraph . . . there are exceptions to every rule.) It’s hard, I know. I have a lot of friends who struggle with similar issues, and so many times I think I have an answer to whatever it is they’re going through. I do my best, though, to keep it to myself unless I hear those magic words, “What do YOU think?”.
Sometimes, the things we need are hard to name, or hard to come by, or both. Today, though, I was walking through my neighborhood (quickly – Toronto got winter-ified today hardcore) and I saw this sign on a telephone pole:
It offered me Love, Hope, Faith, Patience, Courage, Understanding, Friendship, Peace, Passion, Healing, Strength, Beauty, Freedom, Forgiveness, Kindness, and Motivation. Today, I took Courage. The paper is in my pocket. I don’t know if it will work, but I feel a little braver already just knowing that I’ve got it. Kinda like the medal that The Wizard of Oz gave to the Cowardly Lion. He wasn’t actually any different than he was before, but having something tangible to hold onto made all the difference. So today I ask, what do YOU need? Take one, feel free to comment on it or not, and go out into the world knowing that you did something positive for yourself today. And you deserve it.