Why the -ish?

Entering a 12 step meeting room for the first time is like stepping into a different world. Different etiquette, new people, and new lingo.  You’ll hear things like

Halt
Frog
It Works If You Work It
Keep Coming Back

My first meeting there was a phrase that made me laugh out loud.  

“Clean and Serene”

Here I was just 2 weeks out of active heroin & meth use, post acute withdrawals were just starting up.  Every inch of my body told me how “clean” I was. It hurt! But serene? 

I couldn’t remember the last time I was serene without some sort of chemical assistant.  Was it possible? Not by my definition of the world.  For me to be serene, I thought that everything in my life had to fit in place like a perfect puzzle.  I had to love everyone and be loved by everyone.  In a word to be serene I had to be PERFECT. I knew that wasn’t possible, especially with all these feelings popping up that I had successfully buried for the last 5 years.  

It didn’t take me long to learn that being serene was not about my circumstances or my environment.  It was how I dealt with the monsters in my head.  For me it was a combination of mental health medication, therapy, meditating, and a lot of learning about mental health and addiction.  It looks different to every single person.

It’s never easy or simple.  I’m a work in progress.  So that’s why I say 
                           “I’m clean and serene…ish”.