there are many lessons that my time in rehab taught me
while most of them were how NOT to behave, some of them were spot on, just distorted in ways to make a point.
one of those lessons was about appreciation
I have been guilty of saying that I am thankful for my past, but today I am not
without my past I would not be who I am today … I get that … but without my past I am not different than the person I am today either
without my past would I have been a more patient mother? would I not be so hell bent on them following the rules?
would I have been a less demanding wife? would I be more appreciative of my husband and all that he does for his family?
would I let friendships go as easily? would I be more accepting of minor indifference?
would I be less judgmental of those who drink heavily in front of their young children? or of those who encourage drinking with their older children?
to say that I am thankful for the years spent in rehab would be like saying I am thankful for the scar on my hand
the scar that came from sticking my hand into sudsy water and finding the sharp edge of the knife that cut to the bone
I am not thankful for that
but I have a sense of appreciation for it
I’ve built an understanding from the experience
the same way I know that fire is hot, fire can burn, fire can destroy
I don’t have to be thankful for the fire or for the sharp knife
but I can respect the responsibilities that come with handling them
I am not thankful for all that I have lived and the experiences themselves are not responsible for the person I am today
the knowledge I have gained, and the understanding I have carried away from them, are what have shaped me
the ability to see what went wrong
the choices I have made in regard to my past
the capacity to move beyond the abuse and the hate
that is what I am thankful for