Feeling pretty good about recovery right now. Something I seem to have finally learned: It’s okay to be a beginner, both at recovery and at other things in life.

Yesterday my friend who’s really good at pool was teaching me how to play. It was my second time ever playing, so I have got a lot to learn. I missed a lot of shots, even easy ones. And I was so surprised to find that I didn’t get frustrated with myself at all! I just kept telling myself, “It’s okay to be a beginner at this. There is a learning curve. If you keep practicing you will be able to make these shots.”

This is a big step for me. I grew up with a really impatient stepfather who would get frustrated with me if I didn’t get something right the very first time. It didn’t take me long to internalize that–I can’t remember a time when I’ve been able to give myself a little slack and give myself time to learn something. It was like, I was either good at something from the start, or I gave up immediately.

But through the process of recovering from OCD and self-injury, I’ve come to realize that it’s okay to be a novice. Exposure & response therapy and CBT are hard. Like recovering from self-injury, they are a slow processes and there are a lot of slip-ups along the way. But if you just keep practicing, you will be able to overcome those slip-ups when they happen and become a stronger and stronger person for it. You are a beautiful and wonderful person with unique talents and strengths, no matter where you’re at in recovery. And it’s OKAY to go at your own pace!

I know this sounds like a total cliche, but it’s really true. It’s just like playing pool. The longer you play, the more shots you’re going to make. That isn’t to say it will be smooth sailing–you’re going to have bad days too, where you’ll have trouble making those shots that seemed easy (or, for analogy’s sake, when recovery seems to get a whole lot harder all of a sudden). But as long as you stay in the game of recovery, you’ll make it eventually. You all can do it. I have complete faith in all of you.

Well…I hope this dumb little motivational speech helps somebody… It was a bit of a breakthrough for me at least…