Hilchos Pesach and Recovery
I learned two halachos recently that relate to some beautiful things about recovery.
The first one is: If chometz is sent to you in the mail on Pesach, you do not have to accept it. Basically, this is the same message that a friend of mine in the SLAA group says: "If someone gives me a gift of emotional intoxication, for example, if he is angry, annoyed, etc, or he wishes to discuss gossip with me, I don't have to accept someone else's 'chometz.'" I can say 'No.' If someone wants to give you a gift and you don't accept it, to whom does it belong?
To be able to do this, I pray daily for courage and use breathing techniques that I learned. I can - and do - choose which presents to accept.
To be honest, I am far from perfect in this regard and I have self-esteem issues myself, but hey, my Higher Power is granting me some awesome blessings so far :) I have been able to do this in reality with people who are scary and believe they have financial control over me, never mind the fact that some of them are addicts.
The next halacha actually follows the first, in dealing with someone else's chometz:
The Nodah B'Yehuda and some other Rabbonim would sell the chometz of each person in their city even if unasked, using the principle of "zachin leadam shelo befonov." So too, I can pray for each person I resent or who is still suffering. When I ask Hashem to relieve them of their chometz, they lose their chometz in my eyes and instead of being huge ego's who can hurt me, etc, they are just diseased people who really need my prayers!
And most importantly, this year Hallel is going to be a huge part of the seder (contrary to previous years, unfortunately)... I mean, boy, I really have what to praise and thank Hashem for. I am finally free!!! Never mind all the other gifts that have come along with it: self-respect, empowerment, self-love, family stability, financial stability, just to name a few... (It's hard to believe that sometimes I'm still like "oh, I wish I could get some free cucumbers in Mitzraim" (zacharnu es hakishuyim asher achalnu beMitzrayim chinam :)
A Pesach Kosher ve'sameach!