Showing Up: A gift I can give for those who showed up for me

image03-2 Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram.

Show up for people.
Offer what you can.
Be unselfish
Love people when they
need it, even when you feel
they don’t deserve it.
Be a healer.
Be kind.
Show up for people.
Because when you’re hurting
you’ll want someone
to show up for you.
-Alex Elle

I saw this short poem the other day as I was scrolling through Instagram and it really touched me. It made me think about all of the times in my life when I was unable to show up. When I was unable to be a mother to my kids because my addiction was too far-gone, or unable to be a daughter because of some misguided resentments, or unable to just be a friend because I was hurting too much to let anyone get close.

Yet even in these dark times of my life, when I purposefully tried to isolate and push those around me so they would leave me alone, I still had people show up for me. I still had people surrounding me that felt like I was worth it and no matter what time of the day or night they received a frantic phone call from me asking for help, they would show up and be there in anyway they could. They taught me so much about what the recovery process is. They taught me how to love myself even when I felt unlovable, how to forgive myself in sobriety, how to let go of the past and move forward. Some of the most important lessons I have learned along this journey have been from the people in my life that have showed up for me time and time again.

Having these people, in particular my family, show up for me in my time of need is one of the reasons why I am still alive today and finally clean and sober. I don’t think that I could have made the initial push towards sobriety without them and then once I got sober I had even more people show up for me, even though I had nothing to offer in return at time.

When I entered into the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous I was pretty much shattered: emotionally, physically, and psychologically. I couldn’t really process my emotions well and I was so confused and full of pain that I couldn’t have been much fun to be around, but yet people came to my aid and put their hands out. They offered me love and support, asking for nothing in return and they helped to foster change in me that has turned me into the woman I am today.

Now with a few years sober I understand just how much of a difference these people made in my life and in turn I try to do the same for those around me.

With my family, who was always there for me, I try my best to show up and be the best daughter that I possibly can be. When my parents call me I answer the phone and if they need help with something, I help them, even if it’s inconvenient and there is a voice in my head saying, “No! I just want to relax.” I don’t really think that I can ever pay repay them for everything that they did for me, but I can try my best by staying sober and showing up whenever I need to.

I also thought, after reading that poem, that showing up doesn’t just mean physically being someplace, because God knows I did that for years, but it means being present with the person and staying in the moment with them. For instance, I could just go over to my parent’s house and be with them, but that wouldn’t really be showing up. I try whenever I am with them to pay attention to the things they say, and if they ask for my advice, which happens sometimes today, I try to think through what they are asking me and give a real answer.

For so many years I could not be present anywhere. I was always in the future, worrying about not having enough money or love or drugs or alcohol, or in the past reliving events that still scarred me. But once I got sober I learned how to be in the here and now and that has allowed me to truly show up for people.

With my program and anything else recovery related, I show up as well. I do this not only because I feel like it is something that I must do in order to stay sober, but also because it was what people did for me. I’ll be honest, there are times when I don’t always want to answer the phone. There are times when I feel like it is a hassle to do so, but I do it anyways, because it is important for me to show up for them. It is important for me to give back because that is how the message of recovery continues to exist, by passing it along from one person to another.

I am also able to show up for my friends and be there for them in times of need. In return my friends are then there for me when I need to be carried. This is probably one of the most important parts of recovery for me, and I was told early on that there would be times when my friend’s would carry me, and over these past years I have found that to be true.

There have been times when I just didn’t want to continue. I didn’t really want to drink or use drugs, but I also just didn’t want to be sober and in times like that I had places to turn to and people to talk to, and I was able to get the support I needed to take another step. So as a thanks for this, I return the favor and it makes me feel good. It gives me a sense of purpose, because altruism is good for the soul. But it goes deeper than this for me, since a very young age I have wanted to help those around me to bring them some sort of relief from whatever torment they were experiencing. Whether it was an animal or a person I wanted to help. The problem lay in that I did not always know how to go about that. Today I have found an effective manner in which I truly benefit those around me and it provides me with a sense of well being and contentment that soothes the soul.

So always remember to show up for those that you love and those that you don’t, because it can sometimes be tough to be human, but we are all in this thing together.

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