One of my first spiritual awakenings in S-Anon was that I had been “waiting to live.” I took lots of photographs, prided myself on a keen memory, and stored away the experiences of my life for later. I would smile or put on my sad face at the appropriate times, but my heart was not in the moment. My heart had been sealed away to avoid the pain of life. I was too afraid to live fully in the moment. I was so far down the path of waiting to live that I became numb to the experiences of my life as they actually occurred.
Letting go of denial shattered my stuffed treasure chest, and three years of grieving followed. I grieved the addiction and the pain it left in its wake, but I also grieved my unlived life. I could not go back and hold my son as a baby, I couldn’t go back and feel my first kiss, and I couldn’t go back and feel myself as a bride in all those photographs. The grief of my missed life was keen.
Today, my recovery goal is to live fully in the moment: to cry today’s tears, to laugh today’s laughter, and to no longer wait to live.
Reprinted from S-Anon’s Reflections of Hope, page 323.