Spinning in Circles... An Illuminating Recess ♥

The sky was dark today. Clouds were gathering in black masses of pulsing electricity. I could see streaking rain coating part of the skyline, while another sported patches of blue. It was a crazy, mixed up day. I walked outside to recess as my students sprinted and shouted in unbridled exuberance. Recess! With testing constraints yesterday, and a rainy week in store, this was perhaps the only recess we'll have for a while... The kids were jumping with at least as much power as the gathering storm. Hints of spitting almost-rain dotted our faces. One of my students hung on my arm, laughing uncontrollably. Another spread her arms and staggered after coming out of an all-out joyous spin. The boys raced to grab a place in line for their regular hurried basketball competition. I inhaled the cool misty air and smiled, as much from contentment as from relief and exhaustion. :) These kids are happy. They trust me. I am the happy teacher... The kind one. And they have never seen me otherwise. Even in the midst of so much change and overwhelming darkness, they faced this moment of freedom with abandon.

It would be easy for me to say I wish my students last year had known the person that I am today... It's a fruitless wish. Pointless, really. I taught many of those kids for two years, through 4th and 5th grade. Through anorexia. And crushing depression. And I survived. I even came back to life! I became more ME towards the end of last school year than I have been in YEARS. And I am grateful! But I can also remember the sadness I felt as I smiled and laughed and played at the end of last year, and I picked up on the mistrust my students felt... The surprise in their eyes. The sense of being unsure of my sincerity... In the intense relief of FEELING better, I pushed those aches away... I could not dwell on them. But today, in the light of the warmth my students genuinely have for me... It was hard to totally immerse myself in the moment as it was a sad reminder of all I've missed the last few years... And beyond even that...

I know that looking back with regret will not make anything better. It will not relieve pain or sadness, or make anyone's opinion of me, or experience of me better... It will not heal. But part of truly appreciating all that I am, and have, today, means feeling the drastic difference between the darkness I was living in a year ago and the freedom opening up to me today. I'm struck by the difference. It's startling!

I'm coming down with a cold... I've had a sore throat and a headache. I'm surrounded by sick and miserable coworkers. I have a teacher-friend that is out for serious surgery and facing enormous obstacles. The weather sucks. My students are wild. And yet? I am undeniably, unbelievably HAPPY! I was giddy today! I had teachers glancing at me out of the corners of their eyes. And as tired as I was at 3:20 as we all rushed the playground, praying for the rain to hold off just a little longer, I couldn't help feeling FREE... I wanted to twirl in the rain, too! To run and whoop and enjoy being ALIVE...

My present is patterned after the stormy sky I walked beneath this afternoon... Not very long ago I was in that electric blackness. Feeling trapped and depressed and frantic. Today... I can SEE the darkness... I can feel the ominous threat of the storm... I can close my eyes and feel the hint of rain spotting my arms. But I can also feel JOY... I can stand in the almost-rain, surrounded by laughing children all chasing after those patches of blue... And feel that they are WINNING... ♥

Love y'all! ♥

Jen

this was beautiful my friend! really!!!! i am sooooooooooo happy for you!

i so want to be where you are--but not quite -- not there---you know? im not in full recovery---im in recovery but not FULL recovery. there is a difference. i still long for the freedom. i long for the freedom to be me and be happy. but, alas i am not. i told my therapist today , why am i not happy yet? why am i not happy in me yet? why? does this take so long? why do i hate myself for gaining weight and why cant i see myself being successful?why cant i accept me for me yet?

she said i was asking for things too quickly and that they all take time. and that i was obsessing over the fact that im not there yet and that i dont need to obsess over not being 'there' yet. i guess things take time. mine is moving a tad slowly yet moving still... i just wish it would hurry up a bit . but my therapist told me to stop obsessing over the fact im not happy yet. it is backfiring on me. i cannot excpect to love myself in only a couple months..it takes time to love myself.. it takes time... but i do feel much freer in recovery.... and the fact is i have come so far in one year---so far

JEN, it is almost A YEAR for me in recovery! A YEAR!!! WOO HOO! my recovery anniverssary is DEC 3rd, when i came on this site. ill never forget it. i met the most wonderful people in the world that day and am happy to call themmy friends. they have helped me in way i never thought possible..yes you guys are greatness!

i guess i cant expect miracles to happen over night. i still hate myself in many ways. but i also love myself in ways also, and respect and care for myself in way i never ever would have a year ago...

and in a year from now, who knows? i too will be singing and carefree like i want to be...

progress not perfection, right,

my great freind?

love you,
maureen

Maureen,

You are on your way, my friend! :heart: DEFinitely!! :slight_smile:

Remember that although you’ve been working recovery for a year, you haven’t been in therapy for that long… You have made TREMENDOUS progress on your own in that time, but your therapist’s right… Don’t expect too much from yourself too soon… :heart: It WILL come…

Love you!

Jen

Jen,
This was amazing and so inspirational, so hopeful. I want to be there someday. I will. :) thank you for sharing this story with us!

Maureen-
It makes me sad to say my old recovery anniversary was October 26. Last year my boyfriend and I went out to celebrate. This year, we could not celebrate 2 years. I will be there again one day though. Someday I will be celebrating my 2 years in recovery, my five years.... One day maybe I'll be lucky enough to forget and not have to celebrate...

Allee

Thank you, Allee. :slight_smile:

Yes, you WILL be there again. :heart:

Love,

Jen

Jen,

Ive told you in the past too, I LOVE the way you write and express things!

Its a strange feeling of sorrow that kind of floats somewhere in the back of your head when you remember where you were and compare where you are. Sorrow for what you missed out, for what you went through, for the pain and darkness and yes it sometimes hurts, but its even stranger because at the same time there is that nice feeling, the happiness of where you are, that you are well, you feel recovered and yes even the pride in it. Im still not sure how the two can coexists, but sometimes i think they do and they shift accordingly as you feel one more than the other...

Am i making any sense????

I believe it is ok, it too is new part that comes with recovery. Remember its all still fresh, memories and feelings. I like to think in time they will fade along with the sorrow they bring... In the mean time we just keep at it everyday, and remember its so good to finally smile and feel it!

Lots of Love
Andrea

Andrea,

YES!!! :heart: Thank you!!! I wasn’t sure if I was being clear because my feelings seem to be jumbled together in a conflicting kind of stew… Happiness and sadness and hope and pain… But you really get it! :slight_smile: Thank you for that, friend!! :heart: Yes, it DOES feel good to SMILE. :smiley:

Love you!

Jen

Jen...great expression dear! Someone related the recovery process to the five stage of grief the other day, and I can definitely see the correlation.
There will always be moments of mixed emotions in life, but while you are still moving through this, you may feel like you are going over and across into many different stages. You are a true inspiration, and have come so far!
Don't allow the lower moments to take you back...your future holds countless possibilities!! HUGS to you!!
Jan ♥

Jen: Gorgeous writing.... I can almost feel the rain and the air as you describe it. I am sooooo happy for you!

Jen,
Thanks for transporting those who read your account. We got to feel the raw joy of children, and the true joy of you. Both were not forced or tricked, that joy is the true state. It's been a bear of a journey to get back to what always was. I will not congratulate you, because I know how humble you are. Instead I will tell you I like your story. Thank you for sharing.
Love,
Patsy

A bit less joy today. Lol. Bound to happen. ;0) Succumbing to this **** cold. A tad cranky. Stressed. Idiotic email from a couple of parents. Blah-- Sometimes I think recovery has so forced me into habitually healthy thought processes, that I BADLY want to shake some sense into some of my students' parents. One poor child's mother wrote me today to find out exactly WHAT her child is struggling with, as her language grade has fallen "drastically". Really??? She has an 89!!!! She dropped from a 93!!!! Perfectionism... Blech-- it's a curse. Yes, it can boil up from within, but it is also often forced on us. I know it was pushed on me. :P

Headache... Good night! ;0)

Love,

Jen

Hmmm... Perhaps it was "pushed on me", but I wouldn't have picked it up and run with it if there wasn't something in ME drawn to it... (sigh...) Okay... Venting and random musings. ;0)