ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

Finding That Trust In Life

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This subject is one that has continuously received a lot of air time and think time, within my brain. I have touched on it often, and it may not be new for many of my readers.

Wonderful things have always come along with me on my journeys of recovery and sobriety. But with that wonder and beauty, has also often traveled a bit of a darker cloud. One that is filled with suspicion, darkness, distrust, and a lack of faith.

We addicts live one of the most chaotic lives that anyone could live. Many times, it’s a path that becomes very long, repetitive, and eventually, seriously debilitating. One of its worst of negative strengths is its ability to be so difficult to defeat, that is almost always becomes something that is longer in time then we could have ever imagined.

With that long road and length of time that our addiction travels, comes one of its worst factors. With addiction being long, habitual, and grueling, the odds get more and more stacked against us that we will one day find sobriety and true happiness with positive depth.

What’s the purpose of this explanation on addiction’s length and strength?

Well, I want to make you able to understand the backstory to it all. Addiction throws such a rambunctious net over our lives, that eventually, total chaos truly becomes the norm and the unbeatable.

By now most of us know that this can lead to all kinds of trouble. Mental health problems, physical health problems as well. Ruined and lost relationships, destroyed careers, jail (lost freedom) and eventually, death. Even all of that becomes a twisted type of normalcy for many of us addicts.

To do some fast forwarding, I wanted to speak on my life now. It’s currently at a time deep into sobriety, where life is pretty decent, and lots of healing has gone down. Lots, not all. But nonetheless, I’m living “right” as they call it. What does right, mean to me? Well, I would say that it could be defined as living responsibly.

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Would it make any sense if I said, all of this, is now scary?

When I speak about this, some may ask me if I think I am living at risk of self-sabotage. Sometimes I don’t know, but sitting here thinking, I can confidently say that I certainly don’t want to sabotage everything that I’ve gotten and earned back.

I had once lived the kind of erratic life, daily for many many many years. I didn’t realize it then, but believe it or not, I somehow eventually became comfortable. Like so many others do. It was then when I realized certain things that I never used to understand.

An example is, how a person may spend decades in prison, only to get released, be scared to death, and soon later, earn their way back to prison. I know now, it’s because of comfort. Prison was what they knew.

They knew, nothing else.

Now, believe me, I will not pursue similar or extreme equivalents. But I do admit, that life now, though much better, still feels a bit weird at times. As I said, it seems scary at times.

It is also weird in different ways than the prisoner example. Maybe mine relates to “trust.” Meaning, so many things, was wrong, for so many years, on every single type of level, how could I trust life in believing, there really isn’t going to be another shoe to drop? Could it be true? Am I imagining it all?

Some people think I’m nuts to be wasting any mental energy on such a topic. This isn’t even a matter of me not trusting myself. It’s just incredible to think that comfort, can become anything that life throws us in. Not always, but clearly it can.

I’m not writing this as a cry for help. Instead, I just want to be able to reach someone out there, who may be experiencing the same thing. I want to be able to tell them that what they are feeling is a normal process. Know that you can trust life when it comes to this.

This feeling you have, is just that, a feeling. Always remember everyone, feelings are not facts, and just because you think it doesn’t mean it’s true.

Those in recovery, who can’t seem to shake that funny feeling, and are second guessing if everything really is alright, I can tell you to just look back, and realize how much time, that black cloud covered your sunny days. Multiple years? Then you see, living like a mature adult is going to take a very long time to settle in. But it will seek you out. Whatever your version of normal is, in your mind.

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Spend time, making up for lost time. Though I have overcome a lot of guilt, it still feels great, making amends by living right. I’m enjoying all of the sober comforts of life, and I’m living with literally, a daily appreciation for as much as I can. I’m grateful for my faith, and the fact that I happened to be one, who made it back in time, not lost too early, going against God’s plan.

It feels weird and awkward. Occasionally I’m still stopping in my tracks, and taking it all in. Accepting the fact that I made it. So so many never made it home.

I’ve learned to not take blessings for granted.

They aren’t forever guaranteed.

Michael Patanella

is a Trenton, New Jersey Author, Publisher, Columnist and Recovering Addict, covering topics of mental health, addiction, sobriety, mindfulness, self-help, faith, spirituality, Smart Recovery, social advocacy, and many other motivational topics. His articles, memoirs and stories are geared towards being a voice for the voiceless. Helping others still struggling.

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