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Changing Seasons

I woke up on a Monday morning, made a cup of coffee, and sat outside on my deck. I felt goosebumps cover my skin as I breathed in cool air. Fall had arrived.

The smell of fall instantly brought my mind to memories of me as a child carving pumpkins, playing in piles of leaves, and apple picking. Then, The Monkey voiced his opinion of the fall season.

“Well, well, well. Fall is here! Do you remember what you did last fall? Do you remember how comforting I was when you were cozied up on the couch?” said The Monkey.

“Yes I remember what I did last fall. But I remember being excited to wear hoodies and long sleeves so I can cover the scars on my arms. I also remember fearing withdrawal more than I already did because of the cold weather. I also remember how afraid I was of the holidays because I was worried I might be sick for them or my family would notice that something was different about me.” I responded.

“Oh right! Your family! I almost forgot! Remember how they all knew how much of a mess you were? Remember all the holidays you missed or completely ruined? Do you really think one holiday sober will make all of that pain you caused go away? Definitely won’t. So you might as well hang out with me this year!” The Monkey said. He loves to try to twist and turn anything I say to convince me to spend time with him. But remember, he’s a liar.

However there is some truth to The Monkey’s words. I do remember the holidays that I had caused pain on my family. I do remember all of the apple picking, pumpkin carving, and leaf pile jumping that I had either ruined or completely neglected because I was so consumed with drugs and the lifestyle that addiction brought. Although there is some truth, it doesn’t mean that it is still the truth today, or that I should use it as a reason to relapse.

I’ve noticed myself not enjoying certain seasons because my addiction consumed my memories of those seasons; fall in particular. I also can remember good memories I had with my best friend (remember Kaitlyn?), who I had to let go of because her monkey had consumed her and would eventually consume me. All I can picture when I smell the cool air and glance at the changing colors of the leaves, is her and I sitting with each other in the morning with our coffees, laughing and making bets on how long it would take for the leaves to fall from the trees. The pain of her absence is sometimes too difficult to entertain in my mind, so as this season approaches, I have a hard time enjoying it without her by my side or at least having the peace of mind knowing she’s safe.

So as the season brings many changes, whether it’s clothing, climate, and holidays, I try to change something; my thinking. I’m forever in the process of changing my perspective in every aspect of life. Fall has arrived and winter is soon to come, so developing a new way of thinking would really benefit my mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.
To change my perspective, I sit and think about what doesn’t change. My Higher Power doesn’t change. Circumstances in life may change, but my God doesn’t. He is always loving, merciful, forgiving, gracious, and long-suffering. I try to meditate on that and allow that to help guide me during these changes that come about.

I also change my perspective by remembering the people that I have met who have lost family members and loved ones due to the addiction. They will be grieving on every holiday for the rest of their lives. How dare I sit in guilt, shame, disappointment, and discouragement?! Instead I become grateful that I am still alive to be with my family and friends.

Finally, I try to remember that the past is simply that; the past. I can’t go back and change it. All I have is today. Today I can carve a pumpkin. Today I can go shopping for upcoming holidays. Today I can wear a long-sleeve shirt or sweater because I’m cold, not to hide scars on my body from actively using. Today I can enjoy a cup of coffee outside without waking up in full blown withdrawal. Today I can go apple picking with my mom and help her rake the leaves.

So although change can be difficult and seasons can bring on many triggers, I am so grateful that I have learned, through recovery, tools, tips, and tricks, to help guide me through these changes and seasons.

Happy Fall Everyone! Don’t allow change to consume you negatively. Turn it into a positive by CHANGING your perspective!


One Reply to “Changing Seasons”

  1. Michael says:

    Ally,

    What an awesome post. You really are grounded in gratitude, and it is so evident. I think that fall is a time for reflection, and I am so happy to hear you are in a good place. You are right – your perspective changes everything.

    Cheers to your best fall ever – Michael 🙂


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