Jillian’s peers had made it out like the world ended when you used any substance, but the world hadn’t ended at all. In fact, it felt exactly the same. She still had no desire to use it and was looking forward to doing step work with Jen that evening. Even more, after the magic of last night, she was looking forward to it more than the day before.
When she had first arrived to the rooms, one of the first things Jillian heard was that she had to change her people, places and things. Which made sense because like they always say, “If you keep going to the barbershop, you are going to get a haircut.” But when her old friend Sarah called, she was delighted to hear from her. Sarah wasn’t around during the years Jillian spent curled up into a miserable ball at the feet of addiction.
She was 16 years old when she shot dope for the first time. Drugs had never been around much for most of her childhood, but she had been dating this mega-hot senior, and she was head over heels.
Developing the ability to be soft and strong is truly an art. It is a gift, a talent, and a superpower. However, it takes a little longer for others to accept and understand because it is so different. People have a hard time comprehending that someone can be two seemingly opposite things at the same time. As humans, we are inclined to place people in either one category or another. We have what one of my favorite authors, Jen Sincero, likes to call the “either-or syndrome”. Soft or strong, good or bad, creative or responsible, the list goes on.
When you know that you know how to behave in a conscious way, practicing full awareness and living with an inner peace, it’s hard to understand why you lose it out of nowhere. You find yourself being reactive. After some conflict has arisen from inside of you or around you, you take a step back and look. Then, when you’re open to reality, it hits you like a ton of bricks.
American people have been speaking out more than we have in decades about the change we seek. If we have learned anything from the past 244 years, we have learned that nothing is more powerful than what we believe. If we don’t change what we collectively believe, the changes we make will not have a lasting effect and that which we thought we changed will manifest again — in new and often insidious ways.
When I walked in, they asked me to place all my bags on the counter for inspection. I was nervous, even though I knew I didn’t have any contraband. I pointed to my tiny glass animals from Texas — that were folded inside some clothes — so the intake nurse wouldn’t drop them as she searched my things. They were, after all, the only thing I had.