Pro-Choice: Recovery Everyday

No, this has nothing to do with abortion.  What this is really about is the choices we make before, during, and in recovery, and how that effects the way we live our lives.

On Facebook, I belong to a page called I Chose to Live. It’s a faith based recovery blog devoted to helping those with eating disorders. Now, I have no problem with this blog or it’s members; I’m one of them. But the title has always bothered me some. It’s written in past tense: I CHOSE to live. And I’m not sure how accurate that is when it comes to recovery.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t really say that I chose to live, that I made one sweeping declaration that changed my life and I never had to look back. I never chose to live. I have to CHOOSE to live, everyday, sometimes several times a day, all over again.

By that, I don’t mean that I go around feeling suicidal and having to talk myself out of it. I mean that every time I make a choice that benefits my life and my recovery, I’m actively choosing to live– present tense. When I get up and eat breakfast, it’s a choice. When I feel a little too full but do not to purge, it’s a choice. When my jeans feel a bit tight but I don’t give in to negative self-talk, it’s a choice. Some days it’s easier, some days it’s harder; some days the choosing it’s more conscious than others. But it’s always a choice.

Recovery cannot be simply declared; it is an active decision-making process. It’s like walking down a long and winding path, coming to crossroads after crossroads, and continually having to opt for the path to healing. These crossroads can be viewed in two ways: as obstacles or opportunities. And believe me, I know how frustrating it is, especially at the beginning, where it seems like you’re faced with nothing but challenges and it’s all on you to do the right thing. But when you see these forks in the road as opportunities to change your life and feel better instead of more obstacles keeping you down, it’s amazing how things open up around you. Each time we choose the path of healing, it will get a little easier; and the farther down that path we go, the more grateful we are that we have a choice at all.

© Sarah Henderson 2010


About writingforrecovery

Sarah is a writer and poet who speaks out about issues that make people uncomfortable. Sarah advocates for causes such a sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and mental illness, and often speaks openly about her own experiences. She is determined to abolish the stigma associated with these issues and believes that it starts with people telling their stories, so she started a blog called Writing for Recovery where people can do just that. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and is currently at work on her fourth. She is convinced that there's a novel somewhere in her, and occasionally picks at the chapters so far. View all posts by writingforrecovery

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