I have been so many people in my life, but as an active alcoholic I isolated into nothingness. They call this the last stage of alcoholism—the state of oblivion…
There was no more joy, frustration, hurt, or pain…just a bruised shell of a body and a warped soul that was so beaten down that it finally came to the last door…
And that door was hopelessness.
I had a close friend do me wrong recently—very wrong actually.
I had been self isolating for so long towards the end of my drinking years that I’m not too sure I knew whether or not it was even possible for me to make friends again. But, once I was in recovery for some time, pieces of me began to float back…they reminded me of who I really was—who I am today and it’s something I’m still investigating.
And although in recovery, I was quite hesitant in making anyone I knew or worked with a friend, I did so anyway.
I used to punish myself for outcomes like these. When relationships don’t work out…I can almost hear my own inner thoughts now: “I told you so…when are you going to finally realize that no one actually cares about you—no one likes you.”
Recovery has taught me to rewind the tape. To become aware of the inner narrative that says these things, and to flip them around in my favor…otherwise I’ll drink.
Also, I must always remember that feelings aren’t always true.
Recovery has taught me how to love and live and give back mainly because of the new tools and means by which I’ve learned to cope. I now have a strong foundational support unit, others just like me, and ones that know what it means to escape death…and at least once.
The hope I always needed to make it one day at a time was there all along, it was just a matter of finding it and in finally being ready to turn my life over to something much greater than myself in order to be saved. And I did it.
Today I take risks. I see disappointments as new opportunities and new beginnings; I’m grateful and willing to change. And in that way, my experiences are endless—and so are my blessings.
I just found two full boxes of baking supplies in my dining room.
They have literally been there since Christmas…but not only did they have Christmas baking supplies in them, they also had much Valentine’s Day, red sprinkles, muffin cups for Easter, little bunny candies, and all kinds of sugary toppings one could indulge themselves with if they truly really hated themselves.
And I’m wondering…was that me???
When I took these boxes straight to the garbage can, I felt sick. I hesitated for a split second in wondering if I should be (wasting) throwing away perfectly good bags of Hershey Kisses and opened but slightly used bags of powdered sugar…the sprinkles from every holiday that had been opened and half used…should I be jamming them down into the garbage the way I was??? And why was I feeling so…
I don’t know.
I had a hard time even describing to myself everything I felt while doing this.
But it didn’t feel good…
This would have typically been a moment for me to call my mother. But instead, I decided to see if I could determine what was bothering me on my own. I had a close uncle of mine pass away somewhat recently and it truly rocked my side of the family’s world. Ever since then, I can’t help but put my own expiration date into view. It made me realize that my parents wouldn’t be here forever, that someday, and maybe someday sooner than I want, I will be here alone. And there will be no one to call to talk me through such moments of distress, or questions about life, etc.
This may sound sad, but it is part of life. And if anything, I believe that it makes us appreciate each day and each other a little bit more…hug people when you can. Listen and learn from them things they have taken from their life that they are willing to openly share…
When I was cleaning up this bakery gone wild station, it reinforced for the first time for ME that I was doing what I wanted to do, the way I wanted to do it and it was all my decision. It became empowering in that way. I sorted through these feelings and decided I should blog or write about what was within me here instead of eating my feelings. And so far, I believe I have made some major progress when it comes to developing new tactics to unsolved problems— and when it comes to new strategies in dealing with triggers and life’s offerings that we don’t always handle the best way we could. So, points for that one too.
Part of my journey has taught me, especially most recently, that “progress, not perfection” goes a very long way, and that self-love and in particular self-compassion, can often save you from yourself.
What I mean is instead of whipping myself for any little mistake or lack thereof that I might have done before, instead I leaned into the notion that I truly was, one of my own best friends…so, what, or how would I speak to a friend in this same situation? I used that voice to determine my outcome, and it completely changed my train of thought; it forgave and loved me for all that I have been through…and furthermore it asked me to put away my harsh voice, and to never let it back in the door ever again.
We all make choices, but knowing who we are…at the very pit of us…at the very bottom of our very lowest, is where we often find who we are looking for…and sometimes you must dig very very deep to find this person, and often when you do find them, they are huddled shivering in a dark corner somewhere…and that’s when you realize that in order to save yourself…you must first forgive yourself, you must love yourself, you must see yourself as God sees you…as a child. As one of His children. And no one can change that. You belong somewhere. And you are forever and ever loved.
The sooner you believe this and feel this, the freer you might be from all the things that try to tell you otherwise. And there are tons of delusions in our world; lots of trains of thought that get us… that turn our heads in the wrong direction, ones that confuse and devastate us, and truly ones that break our heart…but know–that you are never broken. You may feel sometimes like you have been smashed and pieces of you and your soul are everywhere…but it is only confusion. The strength and love that is inside of you, is always much greater than what anything outside of you could ever do.
I hope that this reaches someone today that needs to hear some type of message about love. I consider myself a continued survivor. What I mean by that I’m not quite sure…but I keep on living and healing and loving and somehow? It makes my life more and more worth living. So, I thank you, God. Thank you to my Higher Power for working through me to help others, to love them, to help them see themselves for the magnificence that they truly are.