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The recovery that keeps on giving

This weekend I attended my 10-year High School reunion. And what a weekend it was. From the moment I reached the train stop, the madness began. Two days fuelled by the excitement of coming together, in a place that made us so happy, to celebrate each other and the experiences we lived here together. It was a beautiful encounter. But, had it been last year, I would have passed on it.

From a recovery seat, I can’t help but notice how little has changed over the year, yet how much freedom I have gained.

About this same time last year my therapist pronounced the magic words. They touched me profoundly, and I still remember his thoughtful phrasing:

“You’ve been well for a while now, but I think this is you. This is the fully recovered AK. I don’t say it to everyone, but you did it. You recovered”.

"Fully", he added.

I shared his opinion. But I also thought “recovered” came at a price: I would never feel the same. And I was ok with that. After all, I was a kinder, more empathetic person for it. But I still grieved the bliss of ignorance, the bliss that comes from never knowing suffering.

This weekend however, I did feel that little bit closer to naïve, that little bit more like my old self, that “extra” recovered.

I loved every superficial greeting I received, took pleasure in every meaningless conversation I had, endorsed every ridiculous behavior I witnessed. I laughed at things I would previously force a smile to, I cheered to what only 12 months ago provoked tears. All in all, I reconnected with the bliss of ordinary life.

Bringing this weekend’s thought piece to conclusion: I realize there is no secret sauce in this journey.

The tips and tricks I resorted to and journal’ed about in the process of recovery are effective crutches. I stand by them. Those resourceful techniques can make the arduous experience more bearable, perhaps even pleasant. But achieving recovery comes with letting time run its course and never giving up.

Never, ever loosing hope.

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