Sunday, April 1, 2012
Isolation and Acceptance
One of the more recent and totally unexpected struggles I have faced in my recovery (LIFE) in the last year or so has been the fact that due to certain, unavoidable circumstances, I am not able to be out and about as much as I once was and this has brought some unpleasant, difficult and unexpected reactions from people.
I will share this for one reason and one reason only...it is definitely an important occurrence in my recovery and I vowed to be open and honest here...to tell it like it is. But honestly, it's embarrassing and I'd rather not.
Because of my physical limitations and to a slightly lesser degree financial considerations I have had to change my daily routine. For 5 years I pretty much was involved in daily activities in Coldwater related to recovery. I am no longer able to do those things as I used to and unfortunately it has been somewhat misunderstood and that bothers me but it unfortunately is unavoidable. My becoming a Christian and having some other involvements hasn't helped the situation either. The final kicker is the price of gas and the fact that a trip to town is a 30 plus mile endeavor.
The combination of circumstances has by it's very nature isolated me physically at home. Surprisingly, I've managed that isolation better then expected but it's frustrating to someone who used to think nothing of traveling to town a couple times a day to get involved in stuff. Recently I was reminded of an old recovery saying that is used when someone talks about expense limiting their ability to come to recovery related events...usually the reply would be "Yea but cost never stopped you from drinking...if you could drink then, you can drive to town every day".
Fair enough except when I was drinking, I was spending money I did not have. I was in incredible debt, drinking by running up my credit cards, taking out ridiculous home equity loans. The whole point of recovery is not to fall into the trap of reverting back to old behavior. Being financially responsible is HUGE for me and the fact is I can't afford the gas to drive around like I use to with my new financial commitments with Kim.
I also am involved in several Bible Reading Ministry activities and unfortunately the timing of those activities doesn't match up well with my old activities which generally start at noon..it's a bummer but my reality today.
Frankly my being a Christian and being in recovery, instead of being a unifying thing I thought it would....well it has actually divided me from peopleIi have known for a long time and cared about. But they never call me and ask how I am or what's up...no they just talk about it among themselves...how I've turned "religious" and don't NEED recovery anymore. None of which could be further from the truth.
The last issue is the embarrassing one and it is a health issue...I pray that it isn't permanent but it has been going on for 7-8 months now so who knows. I have major issues going to the bathroom that make it very hard and embarrassing to be out in public for any extended period of time. This issue has really affected me in several major ways, including my ability to attend the Jail Ministry on Monday nights, because there are no bathrooms for us to use beck there unless a staff member takes you out...I can't ask them to do that. In an hour's time, there are periods where I have to "go" 5 or 6 TIMES...in ONE HOUR. It's disruptive and I hate it...it's humiliating and obviously a terrible inconvenience...
The interesting thing about all this though is the isolation, change of routine, schedule and even causing some issues with friends in recovery who have made assumptions that I am either drinking again or have become a religious zealot...is that my life is incredibly good right now. I have really been blessed. The invention of social media, texting and assorted similar technology has really helped keep me connected and people know that even if they don't always seem I'm still here!
It has been a challenge and a year ago it was one I never saw coming but in the end it's been good for me, I've learned to have faith and it has helped me along with good communication to weather this storm and actually turn the negative into a positive.
Well time for church...another physical ordeal...I sit in back so I don't disrupt the service using the bathroom several times a service.
Time has kind of cut me short here...I may have some further thoughts on this subject so you might see it come up again...