Strength in Scars
Scar [skär] NOUN
-A mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed.
-A lasting effect of grief, fear, or other emotion left on a person's character by a traumatic experience.
---synonyms: trauma, damage, shock, injury, suffering, upset
When I look down at my right arm I see a scar, glaring in the crook of my arm. A mark of my past, memories of what I have been through but also what I want to move beyond. Scar is such a simple word and maybe for some people it doesn’t hold much power.But for me those defining words: Trauma, fear, grief, suffering, those are words that resonate to me in a way that only someone who has seen true darkness can comprehend.
Darkness is an interesting thing.When I was stuck in the madness of active addiction, darkness for me was all I saw, especially at the end.I can remember thinking to myself, in tears, “How can I possibly put all these broken pieces back together?”, “How did I get here?”, and “What’s the point of even trying anymore?”.The darkness was so consuming that I could not fathom a life of anything but the chaos I worked so hard to live in every day, whether I realized that or not.I was a slave to my own killer.I would give up my last dollar for a shot that was stealing my soul, one day at at time.I felt death knocking, and at the end I would have gladly let it right in if it meant the suffering could finally end.I get the chills just thinking of the last days of using.The hopelessness, the shame, the guilt, the anxiety, the absolute insanity that my life had become.
Today, I’m happy to say I have 29 days in sobriety. 29 days of putting one foot in front of the other and slowly walking away from the darkness.At a few days clean I read a quote online that said “Never get so comfortable in the pain that you forget happiness is still an option.” I had forgot happiness was an option.I forgot what life could be like, without the weakening of the drug haze, without being pulled down and stepped on at every turn.Happiness was a foreign concept to me 30 days ago. It’s still a word that I have trouble with, because really how does one define happiness? Is it money? Is it a good job? Is it love? Happiness has come in many different forms to me in the past 29 days to me.Happiness is now waking up early with a cup of coffee on the deck.Happiness is watching a TV show and actually remembering it because I didn’t nod out five minutes into it.Happiness is reconnecting with old friends, and forming new friendships with people who share my same experiences. Happiness is laying my head down clean and sober every night knowing that I won’t have to wake up with that knot in my stomach, cursing somebody for not just letting me drift away peacefully in my sleep.
I know I still have a long road ahead of me, but today I feel content in that idea. Scar is defined as “A mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely…” My past is my scar, and while I have not been completely healed, I have finally started to see the light.And for that I am grateful.
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