The Love of a Child

There comes a point in the life of an addict, when life isn’t very pretty anymore.  It is scary, and brutal, and getting from day to day feels excruciating.

But it wasn’t always this way.  Before we were hurt, or betrayed in our life, we were all children – maybe a very young child, or maybe a little older.  And that child, that un-hurt and un-jaded you, thought that the world was very pretty.  You woke up in the morning not knowing what the day would carry, but you were ready, and you were excited, just because you were breathing and experiencing and your heart was beating.

And as a child, before someone tells you or teaches you otherwise, you love yourself.  In fact, you think you are pretty damn great.  You are smart!  And brave!  And you can grow up to be an astronaut, or a prima ballerina, or build skyscrapers, or become a rockstar.  The world is your oyster, and you just know that you are going to tear it up, to make history.

You love yourself.  It isn’t even a question.  You just do.

And then…bad things happen.  Maybe you experience some sort of traumatic event, maybe you lose a loved one.  Maybe you are betrayed, or scared.  Maybe you are bullied.

And that child inside of you, that was going to take the world by force and kick ass and take names…. that child retreats a little inside you.  And that child becomes smaller, and smaller.  And as your addiction becomes big and scary and mean inside you, that child gets very quiet, because the addiction is so loud it cannot be heard, and then a little later, that child doesn’t speak at all.  Because you forget how to listen.

And you forget what you knew as a child.  You forget how brave and strong and innately beautiful you were.  You forget that though life can be hard, you can make it – because you have a reason to live; you have an indelible imprint to leave in this world.

For those in addictions, there is all too often self-loathing and a deeply-rooted shame at both engaging in your addiction, and also thinking about past events that may have made the child in you small, and maybe made you grow up too fast.

But once you choose to beat your addiction; to fight and to fight for life, and beauty, and for your heart to keep beating and just to be glad to wake up every morning, and to wonder what the day will bring you… once you choose to let go of the addiction and to cling to life, something remarkable happens.  You begin to… change.  Your addiction will always have you believe that you are worthless and bad and should always feel ashamed.  Maybe there were events in your life that taught you to feel that way, too.  But by working and engaging in treatment at Shadow Mountain Recovery, the shame, and the self-hatred you felt… the belief you had that you wouldn’t ever amount to much, or that you can’t ever have a second chance, well, that’s not true.  Your addiction will tell you this, but this is an ugly lie.

Give up your addiction, and listen to the little child you once were, who whispers, “I am good.  I am worthy of love.  I am brave.  I am powerful.  I can change the world.

Listen to that voice.
And then go out, and LIVE.

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