~ Mari's Rose ~

Dear Friends on our Journey,

There is something that I would like to share with those of you who are visiting the Recovery Group's Website. It's a bit personal ... but I would like to tell you how I found I found my recovery in cyberspace and why you will see so many roses when you view our pages. Having listened to hundreds of compulsive people tell their stores over these years, I have come to learn what it means to them also. This is about a loop in cyberspace.

And about love . . .

And a rose . . .

I have lived a life in which I came to mistrust people who were *supposed* to love me but actually treated me with disrespect and even, at times, meanness. Normally, an outgoing person who loved to hug and touch, I gradually became a person who died a little inside. I mourned the death of my emotions and went on with my life. I actually functioned at a pretty high level. At some point, though, I quit feeling.

In the summer of 1994 I walked into these cyber-rooms strictly by accident. I found a recovery loop. I attended the online meetings. I even bought the Big Book. And I listened to what I considered then to be rhetoric. I kept coming back, day by day, month by month and during that time I would listen to the "love yous", the "I love yous", the "{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}", the "I cares", the "dear this" or the "dear that" , the God talk, the "Let me love you until you can love yourself." And, at first, I would almost gag.

Little by little I found myself feeling. I would read a letter from someone hurting and I would hurt too. I questioned this because how could I care for someone I had never seen and I might never see? I made friendships. To this day, those friendships remain. Some of them are no longer loop members. Many of them are. My love for them has grown deeper and I would do just about anything to help them when they hurt.

Someone wrote the other day ~ someone new here with whom I had not even had a perfunctory correspondence ~ but she told of being alone in a hospital and I wrote her and was just about ready to hop on a plane to be with her.

I can't explain cyberspace recovery. I'm not sure what happens when a group of addicts get together in cyberspace. But I do know that it is meant to be. I do know that because of our common denominator, our compulsions, WHEN WE BEGIN TO LOVE SOMEONE ON OUR RECOVERY LOOP, WE ARE LOVING OURSELVES.

As I began to love more people here, I found myself loving me more. I'm not about to try to explain to you precious people who are visiting this Web site how this happened because actually I don't know. What I do know is that you should never question the sincerity of a hug or an "I love you" on this Journey to Recovery loop. . Our loopies are the most authentic people on the face of the earth and, while they may disagree with you, fight with you, pester you, flame you, bore you ~ ~ ~ ~ when they say "I love you", they truly mean it!! Recovery has a way of making one honest. And loopies just don't say "I love you" and not mean it.

Count on it.

What I found here is the most important gift of my life. I have told young girls who are drug addicts I love them. I've told hurting mothers who were in tears because they had abused their children that I loved them. I've told anorexics who were starving themselves to death and 500 pounders who had given up hope that I love them. I have even told grown married men I loved them and meant it. Lesbian women and I meant it. Gay men and I meant it. People I didn't like very much but I felt love for ~ and I meant it. But telling these people that I feel love for them has brought me far more than it has given them. It has made me a more loving person with my family. With people around me. It has enabled me to look for ways to fill voids that I might never have searched for otherwise. And it has opened places in my heart that have been closed for a long, long time.

My rose means that. My rose means "I love you". I used it when I simply could NOT say the words. My signature was just my name. Because I couldn't say the word "love," I just signed my name, Mari, and put a little cyber-rose above it. The rose meant love. And it still means that.

And it will always mean that.

Such a simple thing, this rose. @-}-}-}-

Such a difficult thing for me before recovery to say "I love you."

Thanks to a little place in cyberspace, I can now say it. I can now feel it. I can now give it.


But I still use my rose.

I love you,

The Recovery Group

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