When you sit down with Melissa, your blood pressure immediately lowers. Her calming voice, curiosity and warmth draws you out, whether you’ve known her for years or for minutes. She has spent countless days caring for the elderly in their times of most need, caring for the diners she serves, the dogs she adores, her partner, and the friends who love her. Her recovery is private but not secretive; she will share her experiences to help others, which is why she agreed to participate in the project:
I am more than the heavy wave of the desire to seem normal. I am more than my constant criticism of myself in my head. I am more than wishing the skies would stay gray and rainy and dreading a sunny day because that would mean I might feel guilty that I am paralyzed by my lack of motivation in my own life.
Apart from this part of me, I am a loyal friend, a loving sister, devoted daughter, strong woman in recovery……recovering from all the paths in my mind that sometimes lead me to murky waters.
I am the creator of beautiful things. Pot roast being the most recent. I have a curious and creative mind that when it is unlocked and tapped into surprises most people… including me. I have always been a person who is nourished by visual-ness. Taking a zoom photograph of a sun kissed poppy aside a kaleidoscope of cosmos envelopes my heart and lifts my spirit. I am in love with the quietude of the woods. The genuine hush and luxurious stillness of it comforts me.
I am inspired by kindness. Truly. I think it’s underrated…I live by an instinctual code of inner kindness towards others. If I could just harness a small percentage of it for myself when I am in a bout of hard times then maybe things in my world would be different. My understanding is that I have two ways of thinking, and my recovery flourishes on love and acceptance. My joy is when I am able to stand in both of those.
To find an Alcoholics Anonymous chapter near you go to their website and enter your location.
If you would like to share how you are more than your depression, grief, addiction, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorder or OCD please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a Writing Guide.