Monday, October 3, 2011

Recovered and Reclaimed

Last week I saw a clip of a documentary that featured pelicans from the Gulf of Mexico that were rescued from the BP oil spill. The clip I saw showed the releasing of the pelicans back into their natural habitat, after the area was deemed safe. When one particular pelican was released from its cage, it stood still in place for a good five minutes. Although it was back where it belonged, the pelican felt lost.

I realized that I was like that pelican when I first left the shelter, and moved into the hotel where I stay now. I was back on my own and back into independent living, but I didn't know what to do intuitively anymore. That is, I knew what to do in order to live on my own mentally, but it honestly took me a good month or so to get used to living in a space alone. I had to get re-acquainted with preparing my own meals, washing dishes, having to schedule laundry around a work schedule, and having to catch the bus to buy groceries. Even now, when I hear certain noises, I have to remind myself that a security guard isn't going to put keys into my door and come into my room anytime they felt like it, invading my privacy.

I share this because I am in the midst of beginning another step of my personal recovery back "home". Through some very heartbreaking yet serendipitous circumstances, I find myself with a one-way plane ticket that is good for another eight months. That plane ticket is my literal ticket out of the city that I live in now, and it is my ticket to a brand new life. It will lead me to a life of my choice, and hopefully that life will include new friends, and new love. It will certainly lead me to a much needed change of scenery. And yet, although all of these aspects will be new to me, part of the completion of my homecoming is moving towards this new life that will reflect my deepest hopes and dreams.

My next series of blog posts will discuss how a formerly homeless single woman dares to muster the strength and the courage to move from surviving, to living and thriving. Thinking about life in general, I've come to realize that people (myself included) can become so stuck in the process of recovery that we forget that the end goal isn't simply being in recovery, but the end goal is to come to a place of being recovered and re-claimed. I'm still on my journey. I've been in this hotel for a year and some change. I wish I could have left sooner, but part of me understands that it took a year and some change to get to this place that I'm at now mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Now, I have to give myself permission stop dragging my feet in the past with all of its horrible memories and trauma, and run towards my future with arms wide open.

The documentary ended with the pelican eventually figuring out what to do. It decided to join the other pelicans that were released back into the marshes of the Gulf. The pelicans then reclaimed their innate lifestyles. They formed a pattern in the sky, and they flew off into the sunset. It all turned out well for them at the end of the day, even after all the trauma that they were exposed to from the oil spill. They lost their home for a time, but they were able to literally and figuratively reclaim their home. I'm hoping for the same outcome.

My name is Terrah, and I will be sharing with you ways that my Community Voice Mail phone number has helped me, and I will be sharing tips on how it could help you as well. It might seem like a small thing, but having a phone number gives hope, and that hope can be the seed for so much growth in your life recovery. I hope you continue to read my post, and I wish you well in your journey. These lilies represent the fact that within the seeds of one form of life, rises the beauty of a new form of life.