I must say I love Celebrate Recovery.  I love it.  I’m so glad that my natural inclination to go to every event the church offers brought me there.  I honestly can’t say that I would have gone for any other reason that it was there, therefore I was supposed to go.

I certainly didn’t think I needed to go.  It was for people “recovering” from something.  What did I have to recover from (except myself)?  It was for people with big problems, mine were to small (not that I seem to be able to manage my “small” problems).  I can fix anything that needs fixing by myself (insert snort of repressed laughter here knowing that as much as I believed that it was a complete lie).  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard the talk about how it was for everyone.  Yes, I heard our pastor say it was for dealing with “hurts, habits, and hang-ups”  that everyone has.  But in my all-knowing wisdom I read that as code for “we don’t want to exclude anyone with real problems.”  Really for everyone, though?  I couldn’t believe that.  Certainly not for me.

I just knew it was all going to be way too hokey for me.  “Hi, I’m Lori and here are all my problems.”  “Hi Lori.”  And catchy little phrases like “Keep coming back, it works if you work it.”  And the coins, I’m so beyond needing little trinkets.  I just knew I would feel like I was back in 6th grade or something.

The plan was to go the first week because I felt obligated, and if it was as bad I just knew it would be, my Friday nights would be freed up for all my awesome plans.

We’ll start off with I so need it.  It’s not like I don’t have an online diary in which the world can see I have issues.  You know like the one about being so prideful that I can do it all myself I cried when I had to ask for help.  Nope not a hang up at all.  And then there’sthe days I didn’t write because all I could think about was how much I messed up, and how I didn’t feel like admitting how low I’d got.  Ooh, that would fall under habits.  As for hurts, I’ve got my share of those too.  Before I went I knew I was a mess, but I was sure I could fix it.  I had a plan, if only I could do X, Y, and Z and juggle A, B, and C I could get myself out of the mess.  But I’ve had a plan my whole life.  You’d think after thirty-odd years I’d get that my plans don’t work.  Sometimes they even lead to more hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  So while it may have been corny, there was freedom admitting I can’t do this.  I can’t fix myself.

And yes, it does sometimes feel very much sixth grade.  The youth group singing goofy songs around the campfire and everyone feeling like they belong sixth grade.  The having a club with silly rituals that make you feel like you really belong kind of sixth grade.  And the coins.  I’ll admit, I never got one.  I over-analyzed it at first.  Wasn’t sure if I was even in recovery yet, or had been for a while, or what.  After the first night, I didn’t feel like making a big deal over getting the first-timers coin on a time that wasn’t my first time.  And after several months, it’s not about the coin.  I could take them or leave them.  But what I really missed out on was the hug.  Taking the coin would have been worth that.  That physical acknowledgement that we are now both on the same path toward getting better, toward getting closer to God and toward becoming more the people He made us to be.  The hokieness has turned to coziness.  A sense that I really belong with these people.

As far as the people go, we all belong together.  No one is better, no one is less.  No one’s problems are less deserving of help than the rest.  And we are all there to get better.  To become better.

The totally cool Friday night plans I might be missing if I didn’t go never really existed.  And now I get to hang with a bunch of people who really care about me.  Who want to see me succeed.  And knowing I’ll be going, I make better decisions during the week, knowing that we’ll be talking about our stuff, wanting to give a good report and not wanting to admit defeat.  I now get excited that Friday is coming, I get to go to CR.