Occasionally, I submit a piece to In Recovery Magazine, and they have been generous with the opportunities to do so. The publication is awesome, and it’s always an honor to be a part of the work they do.
Do you know who else is awesome? Each and every one of YOU. I hereby declare today Reader Appreciation Day, because I appreciate you and your readership, and I need an excuse to eat cake.
Just kidding about the cake. Not kidding at all about my readers!
Thank you for taking the time to read my wordy posts. Thank you for your sweet and wonderful comments. Just – thank you; a whole lot.
I’m posting today to share an article with ya’ll that ran in In Recovery Magazine in 2016. Feel free to share the link, and as always…
Things have been a little slow here at the Bakery, but they’ve been moving along at quite a clip behind the scenes. For one week this month, I traveled a couple of hours away to attend a 30-hour course at Recovery Coach Academy. Last week, I was under the weather, but I can’t wait to start blogging again to share some of the things I learned at the academy.
Like, there are many more pathways to recovery than I ever knew existed.
And we are all much more alike than we are different. This is especially true in the world of recovery.
I also took away the profound truth that being in recovery is a sheer gift. And I needed that reminder.
So, apologies for neglecting my little space in the blogoshpere, but I’ve been absorbing tons and will share those musings with you in due time.
Also **SHAMELESS PLUG** The new In Recovery Magazine Summer issues should be hiting stands at Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million nation-wide. (You may also purchase at http://www.InRecoveryMagazine.com.) Yours truly contributed a piece titled “Plan B” in the issue. I love, love, love the work of that publication!
I never smiled with teeth showing before I got sober.
When you are trying to shrink back into yourself, your smile can’t be genuine.
For a while, every photo album I had seemed to have this ONE photograph of me from the year 2000. It was taken at work, and as my job was in an elementary school, it was quite literally an awkward school picture for the directory.
On the cusp of my 32nd birthday, hair bleached blond, face bloated, eyes downcast, and a slight close-lipped smile for the camera. The whites of my eyes were slightly yellowed. I was afraid of my own shadow; afraid of myself.
It was taken two weeks before I got sober and stayed sober.
For years, every time I’d come across a copy of that one picture, I’d throw it out. It brought up such primal feelings of disgust. Now, I wish I could find it to share with you.
The image is burned into my brain. I’m not disgusted by that young woman anymore. I just feel sad for her. I know she is me, but she is also kind of a stranger.
I want to reach back in time and hold my active-in-addiction self. Tell her she will be okay.
“You wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose right now,” I’d say.”But one day you will be wild and free. And smile with TEETH showing, even.”
I would tell her that she will not drink herself to death. That she doesn’t need alcohol to function. That the drug is LYING to her.
I want to tell her that its LIBERTY to be free of protecting secrets.
I want to let her know that she will feel like she is dying when she divorces the drink, but she won’t die.
I would implore her to go ahead and FEEL all of those feelings instead of numbing them. They have a right to be felt.
I would tell her that major boundaries are going to have to be built, but that she will survive the fortifications.
I would tell her she will one day be okay with being fully HERSELF – crazy and silly and ridiculous. And that the people who really love her stick around are not repulsed by the real self, but drawn to it.
I would tell her that her daughters will not be ashamed of her. That she isn’t a terrible mother, just a sick one. That one day those children would be proud of her sobriety.
I would tell her that life doesn’t get easier, but she gets more able to deal with life on life’s terms. For real.
I would tell her that she would experience a happy marriage – something recovery would make directly possible. That there is so much to GAIN from living a life free of addiction.
I would tell her to cut herself a freaking break, already. (And that she would be working on this one for quite some time…and that’s perfectly okay.)
I would tell her that God is more than capable of getting her through a recovery life. So capable, in fact, that she one day will not SHUT UP about Him and His infinite goodness and GRACE, and that grace will become the platform of her entire life. A good life, made possible by active recovery.
I would tell her she will smile with teeth, genuine-like.
And I would tell her she is loved. That I love her.
I forgive her.
I cannot find a single copy of the ‘before’ picture, but I can show you the ‘after.’
I can assure you that all of the things I would tell my old self are also true for you, that recovery is there for the taking. That God’s grace is available in the the same measure to you, no matter where you are on your journey or what you are recovering from.
This piece ran in last winter’s edition of In Recovery Magazine.
I pray it blesses you, and as always – feel free to share the link.
By: Jana Greene
In the Twelve Steps of Recovery, my Higher Power gave to me . . .
There is something cool about the number “twelve.” It makes me think of the number of recovery steps; a dozen fresh, hot doughnuts; the number of beloved disciples of Jesus; and the Twelve Days of Christmas (even though that never made much sense to me – having little appreciation for a Partridge in a Pear Tree or Lords a-Leapin’).
But I do have all the appreciation in the world for addiction recovery. In my twelfth year of active recovery and in celebration of the Twelve Steps, I composed a “Twelve Days of Christmas” redux.
In the First Step of Recovery, Higher Power gave to me – a serving of humility.
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.
It was difficult to admit that I had zero power over a silly substance – alcohol – truly humiliating, but in the best way possible. I had to learn how to bite off one single day at a time without drinking, then another and another – in complete surrender to God. I continue to approach sobriety this way.
I’m honored to be among In Recovery Magazine’s new bloggers. Here is a link to the piece just published at InRecoveryMagazing.net, titled, “But it’s Super Bowl Sunday!” It explores the sticky wicket that special occasions can feel rife for drinking, and how a reality check can reel us addicts back in with the truth. The truth is that the whole world doesn’t drink on Super Bowl Sunday. And the truth is that every day in recovery is the real special occasion. God bless us, everyone!
Well, I got my copy of In Recovery Magazine today, and I am STOKED!
In Recovery Magazine is a wonderful publication for recovering folks, and I’m so honored to be one of the writers included in this month’s issue. Please consider getting a copy if you are in recovery or knows someone who is.
I love my husband (whom I refer to as “My Beloved” because he truly is) with my whole heart. He really is – cliché not withstanding – my best friend, and I’m so glad to be doing this crazy life with him. We have been together nearly 15 years.
Our blended family includes three now-grown daughters, one granddaughter, and three very spoiled kitty cats.
I’ve worked at insurance and real estate agencies, mortgage companies, law offices, and as a day-care teacher. As a single mother I worked several at a time – including a hardware store paint-slinger and as a part-time hotel maid. All were character building. But I’ve been a writer – legit or not – since I could hold a crayon.
I am imperfect all the way. As a writer, I use the forbidden “three dots”…too often and cannot bear to part with the text-forbidden smiley faces 🙂 and sometimes use run-on sentences because I think they convey stream-of-consciousness better and yes, I know all of these are against the Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” guidelines. I have written one small newspaper and one large-ish one, and have had several articles published in “In Recovery Magazine.
I write for the selfish reason that it helps me productively process the pain and pleasure in life when I pour words onto a page. And for the selfless reason that I cannot help anyone else find the “Bread of Life” if I don’t show them where I found it.
Because, all of these things I tell you about me, are true, but none define me. I am a Christ follower, but not an Evangelical. I preach the Gospel of inclusion and acceptance, but most of all heavy-handed grace.
Because that’s what has been given me.
I’ll show you where I found sustenance. No pushiness. Just love.
In 2001, I came to the end of myself and all of my delusions of put-together-ness, which is to say – I got sober from alcohol. If you know me even casually, you know I am an alcoholic. I haven’t had a drink in 20 years, but I am still – forever – in recovery, something that keeps me humble and coming back for more of what got me clean in the first place. Every single day. I keep it “out there” because there is somebody, somewhere who is hiding bottles and drinking that “two” beers just to stop the shaking and who is so, so, ashamed. I know shame. Or maybe he/she is addicted to drugs, or porn, or the approval of others – it’s all the same to your soul – or cannot seem to find a reason to wake up in the morning. I can’t tell you how to fix it, but I can tell you who can. I can tell you that I 100% expected to die during that hard time, and sometimes would have considered it a relief. I still have bad days (that “One Day at a Time” thing…) but I have the clarity to enjoy the GOOD ones, of which there are many. Faith and humor are key. Oh, and boundaries, on occasion.
One Day at a time, by the Grace of God.
Even if I might have bad days, or whine a little. You know, just to keep it real!
One beggar showing another beggar where she found food. When I couldn’t love myself enough to lift myself up, I crawled back to Jesus, and He said “You look hungry… come to the table!” Redemption is the best feast ever.
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