Step by stepPosted: September 23, 2013
On Saturday I joined hundreds of other people for an annual 3-mile Recovery Walk, one of many such events held nationwide as September is recognized as Recovery Month.
It was a beautiful morning for walking, the turnout was great, and the city lake where the event was held is just 15 minutes from my home.
I went alone, walked alone, and didn’t really “connect” with anyone, but that was ok. I’m still dipping my toes into this pool of real life sober people. As a participant/observer, I felt completely at ease and fully present if somewhat invisible.
As I walked quietly alongside groups and pairs, I took in a couple of memorable slices of conversation.
“I used to think I had so many small problems in life, until I figured out that I really just had one big problem.” Yeah. I can relate to that.
Members of the “honor guard” wore purple sashes with numbers attached representing 10 or more years of recovery: 36, 28, 11, 15, etc.
A younger woman congratulated an older woman on her 10-year achievement, adding, “I would have had 6 years, but I messed up.”
The woman in the purple sash replied, “You didn’t mess up, sweetie. You just needed to go back and do some more research.” “No”, said the young one. “I really MESSED UP. I’m looking at doing 5-10 years now.” A poignant reminder of how serious this can be.
The variety of participants represented a true cross-section of our community. These were people I would expect to see at the grocery store, the mall, the movie theater, the county fair; normal people, living every day in recovery, coming together with friends and strangers on this day to honor the journey and show their faces.
I had my photo taken in a Fun Photo Booth labeled “Show The Faces of Recovery”, and I’ve posted it on my About Me page. Yes, I’m still hiding behind sunglasses, and I’m still a work in progress, but one baby step at a time, without fanfare, I’m getting out there – sharing myself, my face and my story of recovery.
Recovery works, and I’m living proof.