I went back home to my hometown recently after quite some time to visit my aging mom. Going back home is always an emotional journey for me and although I look forward to visiting, I still can’t help but be filled with some dread about revisiting the place where I grew up and remembering what it was like growing up with alcoholism. It was only a decade ago that I used to visit my parents with plenty of drugs in tow that I managed so foolishly to hide in my luggage and on my person. When I think about the risks I took carrying illegal drugs over the border it makes me sigh and shake my head in disbelief at the insanity of it all. How incredibly lucky I was that I was never caught or sniffed out by airport security dogs. I can only thank my lucky stars and Higher Power for that.
Going back to my hometown with almost nine years of sobriety under my belt is really no different than before. I still have to face those ghosts of my past only now I don’t have to stuff my feeling down with dope. No more sneaking off somewhere to get high to better deal (or so I thought) with my beautifully dysfunctional family. It gets a little easier every time I go back. The key is to not focus so much on the dark past since that is behind me now but rather allow myself to feel and understand that it is normal to notice those old scars. Although faded, those scars are still there and it’s okay to touch them. They are part of me and I remember how I got them and how I survived.