I Didn’t Understand What It Meant
Until recently, I had never really understood what “we will love you until you can love yourself” meant. I had been in and out of the rooms of AA and treatment centers for 5 years. Every trip to treatment or attendance at AA meetings was as distasteful as the last. I revolted at the thought of the fellowship as something I needed in order to achieve long term recovery; it never seemed important. During the last year of my drinking and using I was completely hell bent on destroying my life; I had decided that I was going to die with a needle in my arm and a bottle in my hand. I would spend 2 weeks in treatment, on the streets, or couch surfing, only to end up loaded once again and on a suicide mission. I had never felt complete misery like I did during my last relapse; I was absolutely determined to end my life.
A Long Journey
Thankfully, every time I sobered up I would attend AA meetings, at these meetings I began to meet other women and I started to develop friendships with them. After every relapse these women would show up for me, I would often think “why won’t they just let me die?” I didn’t understand why or how anyone could love me, so at first I figured it was their job or duty to show up. For months, I continued down my path of complete misery and destruction expecting these women to stop being there for me like everyone else in my life had but regardless of the number of relapses or harm I caused. There were multiple attempts to get me into detox and rehabs, as well as trips to the emergency room but I would always end up leaving and end up on a worse run then before.
Despite other AA members continual friendship I still could not recognize the compassion and love they were trying to show me, until one day I realized that I was no longer hell bent on killing myself. At the time I was still using drugs and alcohol but the thought of dying and leaving these women behind saddened me, this new found sense of ‘caring’ gave me courage and a strange sense of hope. I had come to realize that the women who I had met along my recovery journey had become some of my closest friend; they had shown me what true compassion and love was, no matter how hard I pushed them away they never left. Their dedication brought me the strength to enroll in another treatment program, get back into the rooms of AA, and commit to the 12 steps again. Their love gave me the hope that I could still be something in my life and make something of myself, their love helped me to realize that I was worth more than dying by a needle or bottle, and most of all, their love showed me how to begin to love myself.