There are many things in life that are impossible, and keeping the boundaries of reality in check is important. However, Stacey Kozel is redefining the boundaries in her life. Stacey has set out on an epic journey across the Appalachian Mountains, planning to trek across 14 states! From Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trial (AT) stretches 2,200 miles. The AT crosses the entirety of East Tennessee and is a historical and local treasure. The highest point of the entire hike, Clingman’s Dome, is not too far from Brookhaven Retreat®, LLC. What makes Stacey’s epic adventure even more of a challenge for her is that she is paralyzed and has lupus.
It is mind boggling to get past those diagnoses: paralyzed and lupus. These are diagnoses that once kept her in bed, which made it difficult for her to move even her head on some days. Through the years she has regained some movement, and although still paralyzed, she uses computer generated C-braces on her legs to help her walk. And walk she will, all 2,200 miles.
Stacey’s physical recovery to meet her goals has not been easy, and her finish line will not be glamorous. Stacey said in an interview with a local Tennessee news station:
"Whenever I get done, I get done and I’m just trying to take it easy and listen to my body a little bit but I’ll get there. The one thing I know, I’ll finish it just won’t look pretty and it won’t be fast."
Recovery from emotional illness and addiction is similar. It is a long and messy road to recovery, but each step forward is movement. Find a treatment center that works well for you, and then be mindful that even after you leave treatment your recovery is an every day journey. As each day brings new challenges take Stacey’s mantra to heart.