Today is the day that would have been Fashionkind’s Second Annual Runway Show for Women in Recovery. I can barely make out the erased pencil marks on my calendar, but I could feel something tugging at me for acknowledgement just as I was coming into the day, and I let my imagination have its way. Our models, the belles of the ball, nervous with excitement. Hairpins flying, buttons popping, endless chatter – total chaos behind the curtain of The Thursday Club’s stunning atmosphere. Sunshine and ocean views. Food and balloons and flowers that require pause for effect. Colors and smells and glittering lights. Some of the most genuine souls volunteering their time and talent to a cause that others dismiss as hopeless. This is my tribe.
Forty-eight hours after setting the date, before the seeds had a chance to germinate, civilization as we know it was placed under what was supposed to be a temporary state of emergency. I was prepared to forge ahead, rejecting the naysayers who warned me the event might be affected. It could not! We were just gaining traction. I refused to believe it. Yet here we are, six months later, and I’m trying not to tear up as I recall the inspiration that eroded into a holding pattern of uncertainty.
What will become of Fashionkind’s mission? Can I conquer the wave of separation that continues to plague us? Some days I must settle for prayer that all has not been lost. I search for gratitude where there is resentment. I renew my commitment to never give up. But I am compelled to refrain from contributing to the noise. Louder is not more important. Addiction must be met with the same steadfast (often wily) power it possesses. Decades of attempting to manage this disease in my relationships, while it only seems to grow stronger, have taught me how to become unshakeable. Like the trees that thrive in a wildfire. They are not resistant or robust. They are antifragile – demanding adversity for the opportunity to exhibit their magnificence amongst scorched earth. When the rain comes, it will feel so good. Until then, we endure.
About the Author
Johannah Warren is a San Diego-based writer, speaker, and nonprofit founder. Areas of interest include narrative nonfiction, human potential, and addiction recovery.