Progress not Perfection

 

BY: Jennifer Stottlemire

 

A blue slushy ruined my day. A perfectly good day. Ruined.

This blue sweetness was a peace offering to my son who didn’t want to go shopping today.

A living amends to him from my active addiction days where a blue slushy was not coming out of my dope budget.

An amends to never value a drug over my role as his mom. To just be his mom.

What does a blue slushy have to do with recovery, hope, experience, strength? What does it have to do with faith and integrity? With what I value today?

The conclusion is, that a blue slushy didn’t ruin my day. I ruined my day.

A blue slushy just reminded me that the work is never done and a fall doesn’t mean the end.
In active addiction nothing was ever my fault.
I blamed the drug; the dope, the needle, the booze, the bottle.
I blamed the dealer; the liquor store. The people who wronged me; the people who enabled.
Blame, blame, blame.
Victim, victim, victim.
Me, me, me.
In recovery, I started taking responsibility.
I learned to act, not react.
I started to listen.
I know that I play a part in all that troubles me.
I change what I can: myself, not others. But it is progress. It takes time. Yes, time.
Yet, even sober, I get caught up.
I have moments.
I let a blue slushy send me into an uproar in aisle 3 after it spilled all over everything in my cart. 
Yes, in sobriety, I threw a tantrum over a spill in the paper towel aisle…..ah, ironic…yes, God has a sense of humor!
A few years sober and I can acknowledge that I’m still working on me. Daily.
I’m still learning not to pick up a drug to replace an emotion.
Today, I feel emotions.
And yes, sometimes it takes a bit of feet stomping in Target in front of your son to realize it is not that big of a deal.
I can grab a pack of paper towel from the shelf in the exact aisle and I clean up my mess as I take ownership.
Ownership….it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it!? Recovery has taught me a tremendous amount of things, but one thing I have to keep reminding myself is that I’m still working on me.
I always will be.
And today, I’m ok with that!
One day at a time….
Jenn
About the Author:  Jenn is a family-focused former teacher who just recently made a complete career change by entering the recovery field as a Behavioral Health Technician Supervisor for women. Writing is something that she became passionate about through her own recovery from drugs and alcohol; using it as an outlet and tool to cope with the varied emotions and experiences of addiction and recovery. Jenn, her husband David who is also in recovery and son, Jackson live in Columbus, Ohio where they enjoy watching movies, cooking, cheering on the Buckeyes, having an active spiritual life and just enjoying the simple things that they once took for granted. The recovery world is their new world and they welcome all who desire recovery! To God be the glory….
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