"Healing often happens in a spiral. We may come back around to things we thought were already healed. This is because we can only heal at the level we are at currently." —Unknown

Some days I just do not want to be in recovery. I want to be recovered, once and for all! I want to be like the child in the back of the car that says to a parent, “Are we there yet?” In this scenario, the parent says, “Yes! Look out the window, there it is! We have arrived!”

Alas, we have arrived! In many of the 12-Step meetings I’ve attended, at the end we say in chorus, “Keep coming back, keep coming back; it works if you work it!” They never say, “You’ve arrived!”

I talk a lot about if you want to heal it, you have to feel it. There are some days, I really don’t want to feel it. Some days, I’m very mad that I’m even feeling “it” again. “I have done my inner work,” I scream to myself. Why haven’t I arrived yet?

I am a sticky note queen, one of which says, “Stop trying to feel something other than what you’re feeling.“ Simple, but not easy. I suppressed a lot of my feelings in a lot of ways for a long time for many reasons. As I continue to recover, I have to “keep coming back“. Some days I don’t want to. Some days I ignore the call to continue recovering. Some days, I jump right in, heart first.

I have been in recovery long enough now to see how far I’ve come. I also know, I will not arrive. My intention is to be as authentic as possible as I stay on this journey. I have learned to laugh at myself and give myself compassion instead of beating myself up every time I fail. I humbly acknowledge that it is in my stumbling that I have received mercy and grace.

In recovery, I’ve been able to feel deeply often, to ride the waves of suffering into the abyss and truly feel what is uncomfortable. I still feel like I want to crawl out of my skin at times and I don’t like it any more than when I started. However, due to recovery, I am able to look at the feelings and ask them what they need. What messages might these parts have for me? And, ask them all the questions until I run out, which requires that I keep coming back.

In these moments when my heart hurts beyond description, how can I nurture myself? How can I become more aware in those moments of the Greater Love that continually surrounds me in this mix of emotions? One of the treasures of my recovery comes from the experiences I have had; they created a knowing in me that I’m never alone. Love never leaves me whether I’m feeling it in any given moment, or not. Unconditional Love holds my heart always, so I am able to “keep coming back.”

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.