Imagine there are two journeys. The first involves a short, exciting ascension, followed by a slow-motion plunge. You are initially thrilled by the view at the top, but you quickly lose your footing. You don’t fall tidily, like a diver cutting a clean line into a pool. You’re a plane crash; debris everywhere. Maybe you come up short, bleeding and full of regret, then continue your plummet because surprise! That wasn’t the bottom. If you’re lucky, you eventually land in a heap, broken but breathing.

The second journey begins with a sort of blind scrabbling in the dirt: where am I, who am I, what happened? You pick up your feet and begin trudging along, unsure of what direction to head in. The terrain is both alien and all too familiar, you keep coming across your wreckage. Like corpses on Everest, it isn’t safe to take these things with you. They can only be accepted and acknowledged and laid to rest. (You pick them up anyway, over and over, and carry them until their weight brings you to your knees.) Your legs get stronger, but the edge of the path is always uncomfortably close. A steep drop leads to a place you never want to see. Eventually you realize that everything you thought was so dazzling before was only a mirage. Still, there is a part of you that is like a man in the desert dying of thirst, always reaching for the shimmer. You do your best to drink from other sources, and keep going, one step at a time.


11 Responses to “Addiction and recovery”

  1. Kim on April 18th, 2017 1:47 pm

    Goddamn perfect.

  2. Rachel on April 18th, 2017 6:34 pm


  3. sandy on April 19th, 2017 2:36 am


  4. Elizabeth_K on April 19th, 2017 8:16 am

    You. Are. An. Inspiration. and a wonder. I am proud of your fight and inspired by your battle. Damn that shimmer.

  5. Pat on April 19th, 2017 8:17 am

    Linda you are such a beautiful writer. as always I am rooting for you. I know what’s at risk if you don’t succeed/and there is a beautiful life down this road for you that is your motivation. Trust me I have many close to me that are years into recovery and they would tell you it’s 1000% worth it. keep it up babe – you are so inspiring.

  6. camille on April 19th, 2017 8:48 am

    Everything Kim, Rachel, Sandy, Elizabeth_K, and Pat said. x1000.

  7. Heather on April 19th, 2017 9:46 am

    Keep breathing. Keep walking. Keep recovering.

  8. Jen T. on April 19th, 2017 11:08 am

    Perfect description. Your writing is beautiful, as is your willingness to share.

  9. Jen on April 20th, 2017 8:35 am

    All the love.

  10. Jen on April 20th, 2017 9:55 am

    I’ve been reading you for years and although I only “know” you through your writing I am SO pulling for you to be happy. Good thoughts coming your way.

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