Adventures in Recovery

March 9, 2013

"I've come to get you.  Let's have an adventure!" "Right now?"  "Yes!  You said you wanted to have adventures, right? Let's have one now! The mayflies are out, the green drakes.  We can go down to the creek and watch them."(from the book, The Next Full Moon, by Carolyn Turgeon)

Come on!  Let me take you on an adventure!  Look at how I'm smiling-it'll be fun!

Okay, so I know this may sound cheesy, but the adventure I am talking about does not involve mayflies or drakes, but the adventure of recovery-recovery from mental illness and addiction.  I told you a few posts ago that I would have to tell you about getting my one-year chip and show you some pictures, so here they are below.

What I wore:
(shoes: Bob's; Leggings and Cami: Target;  Skirt: Torrid; Shirt: Outlet Ann Taylor; Necklace: a gift)
Here's a closer look at my haircut and my necklace.  I love them both!  I got a lot of compliments on my outfit and I felt very cute.

After the meeting, some of my friends and I had dinner at a great Thai restaurant in Atlanta called, Top Spice.  I splurged and ordered honey butter shrimp: "jumbo shrimp lightly fried with chopped onion and  bell pepper-served with steamed broccoli and honey butter sauce."
Look at that buttery sauce!  Here's another picture:
I loved it!  The sauce was rich, but with the rice, steamed broccoli and lightly fried shrimp, the flavors and textures were nicely balanced.  Usually when I eat rich food, my stomach feels a little queasy afterwards, but this combination was perfect.

I got a one-year chip for having a year free from self-harm and from being hospitalized at a mental institution.  I definitely do not want to stigmatize being hospitalized by putting it in the same category as an addiction, but for me, it sort of was an addiction.  I have been hospitalized six times in ten years and been in outpatient programs approximately nine times.  All together, I have over a whole year of treatment.  Each time I hated having to go to the hospital, but I loved having the attention.  I did not feel safe and at the time, I did not know any other ways to cope with my feelings, but now I do.  Shortly after being hospitalized for the last time, I realized that I had had enough.  I took Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) training for five months and to this day, I still practice the coping skills that I learned with the help of my therapist.  I got a new sponsor and she is really great!  Her big thing is that she is trying to get me to see the positives and improvements in my life instead of dwelling on the negatives and it really is working, for the most part.  Crisis-wise, my life has calmed down dramatically-my therapist even said that I handled my bout with hypomania recently "perfectly"-socially, my life has gotten very busy, but in a good way.  Just in these past two weeks I have gone bowling, danced at a club, saw part of a drag show, and hosted a book club.  I have also attended a prayer group and a Bible study, visited friends who are sick and had a friend teach me a new way of painting.  All of this while still battling depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder by using my coping skills.  Life is good, although hard.  I just can't wait for another year in recovery!

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