A Hike In Recovery
One Step At A Time
“Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you use to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”- Cheryl Strayed
And that is exactly what I decided to do for myself. I decided to stop closing my mind off to the things I wanted because of an idea I had about myself not deserving them. And for the last four years of my life, there has been nothing but creating a fulfilling history which emphasizes this ideal.
Addiction blinds you, hinders you, cuts you in half, and consumes whatever is left, leaving only a husk of fear and doubt. It cripples you by taking away your ability to experience joy without drugs or alcohol, and hits you again and again and again, every day, until drinking or drugging is all you know to be good in life. Then, one day, that drink or drug is all you have left, but it no longer makes you feel better. It only allows for a momentary lessening in your constant state of misery. Being an addict is being the worst version of yourself, but on steroids. Every horrible action you take in addiction destroys a piece of yourself. This is how it kills people. Slowly, painfully, and absolutely. Somehow, I was able to withstand almost 11 years in this terrible state known as active addiction. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it and lived to tell the tale, but I did. I not only survived it, I grew beyond it in a way that once seemed completely impossible to me. Take a moment, my friends, to understand how very special this is. It is special and important to share because it provides proof to other addicts and alcoholics that their impossible is possible, and that they too have the capacity to achieve and live life joyfully in sobriety. And that’s where this girl’s story continues to grow from.
On May, 21st 2017, I will be embarking on a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I want to do this to inspire others, to advocate and raise money for recovery, and immerse myself in discovering who I am in sobriety.
The Taoist believes that there is no past, nor is there a future. We do not begin and we do not end because we will have lived, died, and been reborn again in every single moment this universe creates. I imagine, on the trail, I will feel the most intense expressions of both of these states of being, hopefully more living than dying, but it is this novel approach to life that inspired my creation of the main goal of this trip for myself. My principal goal for this trek is, not to finish, but to fully submerge myself in every single second of it. Every breath. Every step. Every moment.
The Tao Te Ching states, “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and no intention of arriving”. This philosophical recommendation has helped me over and over throughout my crazy journey in recovery. Had I tried to choose my exact path four years ago, I doubt I would be here in this beautiful moment writing to you all about beginning this incredible journey. It takes time, patience, determination, and an open eye and ear to the universe in order to discover your true purpose. Only when your mind is open to opportunities, will you find them. I hope to open my mind in a new and different way than I ever have before on this trek.
Do I have secondary goals of making 2,189 M, summiting Mount Khatadin, and raising $5,000 for a recovery scholarship at KSU? Of course I do! My existential goals do not completely over-throw my other intentions, they simply hover above imperative to me as a person. Remember the Tao says, “A good traveler has no fixed plans”. It does not recommend having no plans at all.
In regards to my fundraising, I will be advocating for the Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery at Kennesaw State University. I have set up a gofundme.com page for donations to a scholarship fund that will be used to help other students in long-term recovery successfully complete college. This program was imperative for my personal success and completion of college, and I cannot emphasize the impact this program has had on creating a beautiful marriage of recovery and education in the academic community for me and other students. It is a program that truly changes lives. More information on the center can be found at CYAAR/ksu.com My goal is just slightly over $2.28 per mile that I walk, and I will be keeping a trail diary to keep everyone up to date on my progress.
My initial idea for the subject of my blog was to parallel my journey on the trail with my journey through recovery, but to be totally honest, I am not sure what will come out when I am out there in the woods. I think I am going to allow it to be one of those “no fixed plans”. I do hope to publish an entry every week or so, and I hope everyone following will share information with their friends and loved ones. Addiction has a rippling effect, so while it does not affect everyone personally, most everyone knows someone that is, or has been affected by addiction. This fundraiser would be an amazing investment if you would like to help combat addiction and contribute to the recovery community. Thank you for subscribing, and I look forward to bringing you on this journey with me. Happy reading!
The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery
A Program that changes lives
Words like alcohol, drugs, addiction, substance misuse, alcoholism, eating disorders and recovery conjure many different kinds of feelings, affected by culture, socioeconomics, age, religion, experience, and many other factors - reactions ranging from humor to despair to curiosity to anger.
It is often during the college years that alcohol, drugs and unhealthy behaviors begin to occupy a larger part of our lives - socially, and experientially. It is also often the time when those in recovery from addiction weigh the risk of coming to college, a place that can be a hostile environment to recovery.
The Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery is here to help KSU students, faculty, parents, and the community at large gain a better understanding of alcohol and other drugs, addiction and recovery at this critical juncture. Our comprehensive approach has proven very effective in helping students and the community.