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
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”.