“You surrender to a lot of things which are not worthy of you. I wish you would surrender to your radiance, your integrity, your human grace.” – Yogi Bhajan
The emotional energy it takes to defend myself for being myself does not add up correctly. The woman who has it all also has a lot to keep up with, it seems, and I just cannot afford to spread myself so thin anymore. I do not want to be anything other than what I am right now. This is what honor looks like. This is what staying looks like. You have to show up every single day and be grateful. You cannot go through this transformation, this metamorphosis of sleeping to waking without all of your stages. I am not any more or any less than what I am now, and pretending to be something that I am not is exhausting. It goes against what I know to be good and true. There are people at every single stage in this process if you can imagine it, so stop trying to skip through everything so quickly. You are where you are, and you are perfect.
If you knew what was in store for you, you would not believe the lies and darkness about yourself in this life.
On her 80th birthday, Granny told us that when she closed her eyes she felt like the same young girl running barefoot through the fields with her childhood friends. She told us that she did not recognize herself in the mirror as an 80 year old woman. You will always be you even if you think that you are not. We are moving forward with what we have, but we are not turning around.
If I am not drinking, who am I? Identity in sobriety.
No one ever said that this was going to be easy. We lose so much of our identity in addiction that coming out of it can feel hopeless. You are not alone. The feeling of “not enough” is convincing and overly suggested to us by everything in our path. I understand this place. Trust me. Waking up to the beauty and clarity of the real world includes waking up to the world in its entirety. We must respect ourselves at our own pace. Finding the courage to step into the world outside of chemical living and abuse is already a success. This is a success every single day. The changes are happening before others are even aware of what is going on, so my other point in all of this is that we cannot look to others for approval. We have to stop giving away our power and worth to other people and other things.
The potential for wholeness is where we start. Will we have enough of ourselves to survive out there on our own? These are valid questions as we step out into the real world. We are so childlike that everything is questionable. Are we miracles, or are we dysfunctional, damaged goods? Are we capable of seeing reality ever again after living beyond those doors of perception for so long? I still struggle with forfeiting myself and my power over to other people, but I do not use mind altering substances or smoke cigarettes. This initial panic is followed by rewinding myself back to God and gratitude. It is a daily practice. We are either commanding the ship or jumping from it, but hopelessness is not a fair choice since we have so very little experience trying to do things for ourselves.We are not allowed to beat ourselves up in this fragile state. Give yourself a chance to grow before burning it down again.
Taking time for myself has been a keystone for continuing to live a sober life. By giving ourselves time to be what and who we are, we can go beyond the illusions and projections about ourselves, but this does not change how the outside world functions. The question for many of us is : how can we hold onto our power after years of handing it over to alcohol and other people? How can we learn to break the pattern of dependency? Your life is too valuable to let someone else or something else do it for you. You will never be happy if the people in your path have more power than you do. The levels are all equal, so other than the physical obstacles of some certain doors and rooms, no one can take anything from you. Take what you learn so you can come back and share it with other people. This is the river. It takes everybody.
The unique part does not require as much effort as we think it does. You are already special. We are already the way that we are, and the rest of this process is simply reorganizing and cleaning up information. We forget about a lot of the basics in the outer circles sometimes where things thrive in confusion and hyperbole. I know what it feels like after all these years to find out that others are still capable of hate. Fill in the rules of your safe place, without judgement. Make it soft, and make it yours. Create this place for yourself so you can go out in the world and own who you are. We are not protected in regular life by substances or other people, anonymous or not, when it comes to recovery. We are sobbing, bloody, raw and exposed out in the world it seems. This is a heavy process, so it is okay to stay home and stay in the safe place with animal crackers in early sobriety. We are allowed to treat ourselves like children for a little bit because this is how simple we need to go sometimes. If a grateful heart keeps you sane, then I think I must stay slow for a little while. I know rage so tight and intense that sometimes it feels like I might pop a blood vessel or crush a glass with my mind like Carrie. We want freedom, but how many times have we given up our power to a pill, a drink, anything and everything else? I found a place where I could fall for anything but reality, and I almost lost myself completely. There is no way to escape this, and this is how you escape. You have to go right through it. We cannot go on listening to people who cannot care about us because it was never about us. We need to stop giving our power to other people and things.
I want to be slow again and simple, and honestly, most days reflect the inpatient care of my dreams anyway with pajamas, reading, writing, and yoga. This is not anyone else’s decision.
“If you knew Who walked beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible.”- A Course in Miracles
The same familiar tone and phrasing of a children’s choir. This is my peaceful place. If we each are given a moment of glory in this life, I think mine will come with a children’s choir in the snow because I am not above the influence of whatever movies told me that these things equal redemption. I can almost always hear them coming towards me calling out my innocence. Thank you. I close my eyes and listen. They are more real than ever. They get louder and closer through the snowy place in my mind. I feel this scene again and again with the snowflakes falling over my slow motion blinking. It does not matter as I pause for peace in myself. I turn to the Nice Children’s Choir sometimes to egg on my imaginary place with snowy steps. Make this place soft, and make it your own. This is your safe place. I am finally learning to stay with myself and my power. This is possible. ❤
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