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May 22 • It's Liminal or It Isn't

Day 317


It was a span of several months that I endured between the first time I considered that I might have 'a problem' and sometime after disclosure when I knew I had committed to recovery. For the first part of that time, I was still acting out, mainly (in my memory) trying to find again whatever stimulant it was that made me cross over in the first place. I went from feeling like I belonged in my normal world, to feeling like I belonged in the acting-out world, to feeling like I was living my last days in a very dark world where I belonged to nothing. It was excruciatingly lonely, and I often went to thoughts of intentional self-destruction; maybe I was just looking for another 'thrill,' but it felt like I was just looking for a way out. Somewhere along the way, something was said by a counselor or fellow addict or a victim of an addict or something I read in the program, and little things started to click. It took a lot of faith — for lack of a better word — to begin believing I had found small stones upon which to take small steps that would lead me to some version of sanity. But it was a very lonely place. As I understand the term liminal space, it fits here well:

”...the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing. Liminal space is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.”

- www.inaliminalspace.org

I did not know that that's where I was, at least not consciously. It seems this is a real place where we wait, or we don't. Where things change, or they don't. Where we make decisions to go forward or go back, or we just start the formal process of dying. I am thankful that small steps of recovery are at least as important as the big ones.


–JR

 

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