Cupid Groans

If you listen carefully, you can hear Cupid groan as he dusts off his 2724-year-old quiver.

It is the time of year for overpriced roses, gift certificates to the local nail salon and those horrible chalky heart-shaped candies with Valentines proverbs printed on them. 

Nothing captures the language of love like a candy heart that reads, “All Mine,” “Best Day,” or “Kiss Me.”

All the trappings of a good Hallmark holiday.

Valentine’s day is not usually the holiday I think about when I think about my recovery and the challenges that come with certain times of the year. Typically, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year come to mind. If you are early in recovery and you made it through the big three, then you have acquired valuable sober references to help you down the road. 

Give yourself credit. It is not always easy.

Valentine’s Day for me is about the people that I love.

It is about rehabilitating relationships.

It is about unwavering support.

It is about heartfelt gratitude.

It is about emotional healing.

It is about forgiveness.

I met my wife back in college. We have been together ever since. 

Thirty-two years. 

I got sober almost fourteen years ago. More than half of our relationship existed in the throes of my active alcoholism and addiction. 
That is eighteen Valentine’s Days.

My substance use disorder tainted a good portion of those Valentine’s Days for us. I caused concern, distress, worry, anxiety, and the loss of the emotional security that should fortify relationship, not cripple one.

Through all the chaos, my wife’s support was constant, her devotion was steadfast and her love, unconditional. She became the foundation of my recovery. She helped build a relationship that is durable, resilient, and perpetual. 

This will be our fourteenth Valentine’s Day in recovery. Not all of them have been perfect but none of them have been diluted in any way by my substance use disorder.

This Valentine’s Day will be about us and the life we have created, past, present and every Valentine’s Day in between.

And yes, there will be overpriced roses, gift certificates to the local nail salon and those horrible chalky heart-shaped candies with Valentines proverbs printed on them. I will see if I can find one that says, “Thank You.”

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