An open book
27th March 2019

After a while

We recently published a piece of writing by Donna Newman which details what recovery is and the actions and behaviours that may be employed by someone early in recovery.

As a recovery journey progresses, over time a new perspective on life develops as the individual applies the 12 Steps and recovery tools to their daily lives. ‘After a While’ by Veronica A. Shoffstall (below), although relevant to many people outside of recovery, accurately describes the many things learnt at this stage. It’s a powerful piece of writing that can help us to endure life’s challenges and find peace.


After a While

After a while you learn

the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul

and you learn

that love doesn’t mean leaning

and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn

that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises

and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes ahead

with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child

and you learn

to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is

too uncertain for plans

and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn

that even sunshine burns if you get too much

so you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul

instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure

you really are strong

you really do have worth

and you learn

and you learn

with every goodbye, you learn…