Recovery is a CHOICE

There is no magic formula, no perfect words for this. It really does take a leap of faith. You have to want recovery MORE. You have to want something else MORE. 

Our daughter, Nichole was my MORE, the first time.

I was battling anorexia and it was winning. Getting pregnant was a miracle because my body was so frail and weak. Having a healthy baby was a miracle because my entire pregnancy had been a struggle.

But when she came, my love for her superseded everything else. And for a long time, she was enough. Until my demons got hold of me and took me down an even darker path. It got so much worse before it got better. Even after I’d given birth to our second daughter, Emma, nine years later, I could not pull myself fully out of the darkness. 

Along with the distorted perception I had of my body and the eating disorders I’d battled since I was nineteen, I also began drinking. The darkness drew ever closer and the downward spiral ever more vicious.

For so long I’d chosen that darkness, only to get lost in its cunning grip. Was there anything more for me to lose if I chose light instead? So, I tentatively, fearfully, brokenly reached out for help. I took a leap of faith.

I couldn’t know then the changes that were in store for me. No one could assure me that I would land upright. But that’s what faith is, isn’t it? Trusting in something greater than self. Believing in God’s promise and mercy. Stepping forward without knowing and trusting in assurances unseen, but felt just the same. 

He was there with me at the crossroad. He was there as I took those first shaky steps into recovery. He’s been there every step of my journey. Faithfully, lovingly, mercifully carrying me through the challenges, strengthening me through the victories, and sheltering me from the storms. Together, we’ve celebrated milestones. We’ve shared long talks. We’ve grown ever closer. He is my rock and my salvation, my comfort and my shield, my refuge and my strength.

I lift my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121: 1-2

And what I’ve learned is this: Recovery is a choice. But until I was ready, until I CHOSE it I continued to suffer. I continued to give in to fear and despair because I was comfortable there. If I had not been, I would’ve chosen differently. That’s the brutal, honest truth and it’s one I had to accept. 

On the other side of that choice lay freedom. But you can’t know that until you take that leap of faith into it. I certainly didn’t. I had to experience it, become intimate and real with it. I had to embrace it with everything I am. At the first sign of trouble, I could not give in. I had to feed my faith, strengthen my relationship with God, and place all my trust in Him, not just in the hard things, but in everything!

And that is why, by the grace and mercy of God, this time is the last time, because I found my MORE in Him.

Image by William “Bill” Stevenson, 2022 | Permission to use

When we’re lost,

we’re not lost to the world,

my child, we’re lost to ourselves. 

It takes presence to uncover self.

It takes silence to still the voices 

of fear that deceive and feed 

on the doubt, that exists within us.

Fear is nothing more than

the absence of faith.

And faith is trusting in the unseen,

acknowledging the stillness 

that surrounds us.

Faith transcends the world

because it is not of the world.

Faith is instilled within us 

before we’re even born.

By reaching for faith

rather than succumbing to fear, 

we rise above the world.

And when we transcend the world,

we exist fully in a place of peace

that can only be found in the Spirit 

that dwells within us.

JN Fenwick (© 2018 – 2022) 

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