Freedom! The word that sends a special kind of emotion through our body and mind, meaning something different for each one of us.
Freedom from and freedom to. Freedom from the obsession of our addiction. Freedom to our recovery, which is our one-day-at-a-time independence day. Freedom from “no option but to use.” Freedom to remain true to our recovery or choose otherwise. In a poem titled Otherwise by Jane Kenyon, she compares how her very simple day went and how it could have been otherwise. In that same format, I would like to compare my life in recovery, my freedom from what could have been otherwise, to my freedom to a life of independence.
I went to work the work I love, it might have been otherwise. Each day I pray for and receive, a daily reprieve from the obsession that so easily beset me thirty-nine years ago, it might have been otherwise. I enjoy, one day at a time, a freedom that sustains me to the next one, it might have been otherwise. My children and grandchildren live lives of joy when they see me, it might have been otherwise. I get to learn more, grow more and be of service, it might have been otherwise. Freedom from shame, guilt and other traps such as those, freedom to walking in my own brand of dignity today. Freedom from stifling fear, freedom to live courageously, it might have been otherwise. Freedom from chaos and confusion, freedom to keeping it simple and not complicated, it might have been otherwise. Freedom from and freedom to, is about recognizing our ability to overcome and trust that recovery is our liberator.
The ultimate freedom comes from a Power greater than ourselves, deliverance from the disease of the dark side; the dark side of addiction where there is no freedom from or freedom to. Those who know the happy and joyous days of freedom that recovery brings, can share that joy with family and friends. The family and friends who may have had unfortunate experiences with us during the times of our oppression while living in addiction.
Each day when we choose, consciously and sincerely, to work the Third Step, we choose freedom from and freedom to. We make a decision, for the day to turn “our will and our lives over to the care of God” and in an instant we are free. Based on the knowledge that, “a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” (Second Step), the acceptance of that knowledge on a daily basis, frees us from captivity. Dependence vanishes and freedom manifests. Simple! Also, freedom in recovery can be catchy. Some may even say they want what we have. What they are wanting is the freedom that can literally permeate the body, mind and spirit. Freedom is spiritual that way. Family and friends can also catch the joy freedom brings. Freedom from worry. Freedom to forgive.
Recovery gives us so many kinds of freedom, they cannot all be included in one small article. So, freedom is huge, ginormous, vast and priceless, all in one package called today. Just for today, twenty four precious hours of freedom from and freedom to the very next today. There is a saying I love which goes like this, “I was run over by the truth one day. Ever since the accident I’ve walked this way.” I personalized it to say, “I was run over by the truth of recovery that day and ever since the freedom, I’ve walked this way.”
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