I am turning into the most authentic version of myself. Find the place where fear and joy collide. This is the love.
One day it just starts happening. One day we just start walking away from all of the terrors. We walk away from everything that haunts us because something says wake up, something says let’s not do this today and slaps us into into a different wave length.
Even for a minute, we gain insight. We see that we matter enough and have enough strength to walk away. We see that it is our birthright to step away. This is an internal struggle that has made a slow, gradual but necessary shift in my life, and it all started with one decision, one seed of an idea, one initiating ripple.
The thought of waking up without taking some kind of amphetamine has been out of the question for the majority of my life.
Where do we even begin? Crossing the road between where I was and where everyone else seemed to live felt impossible. How do we get from here to there without falling through the doughnut hole? How do we get un-stuck in the same predicament over and over again? It is a risk to make changes, but it is an even greater risk not to.
Change means we are entering unknown territory. The part that we must learn to accept is that disorganization will happen. It just will, okay? It always happens first. Once we are able to accept that we are going to feel possibly worse before we feel better, real change begins.
On my second blog post as The OAM I wrote about my future self as a healthy person, eating tangerines, wearing all white and drinking tea, and from what I can tell, I am just now starting to resemble this fictional woman.
This took eight months because my only form of breathing at the time was inhaling and exhaling cigarette smoke, so finding calm in the present moment was a foreign concept that just was not on my priority list yet (even if I thought it was… it wasn’t).
Transformation is not glamorous, and there are more things in life than looking glamorous. I think Lady Gaga says that in her Netflix documentary. Looking glamorous all the time is boring Lady Gaga, and when it comes to sobriety and recovery, looking glamorous definitely does not matter. NOT DRINKING is the main focus at first, and THAT takes everything we have to offer. STAYING SOBER is the main focus, and this leaves little room for feeling soft and graceful (not that I always feel that way now or even want to.)
The deconstruction of something is more like a sweaty and impatient frustration that comes and goes in waves. The collapse of worlds.
My world was revamping, and once I felt it was leveling out, it was under construction again like most good things before they become something new. I had to realize that I was always becoming something new, so I stopped being so afraid of changing. It started with crumbling, and then I just continued to fall.
I am so unafraid of becoming new again, but this does not mean that I do not experience fear. It just lives within me differently, and I know that I am always stepping out into the unknown. .
What am I like with out all of these substances in my system? What am I really here for?
Before moving to Japan, I made arrangements to slowly ween myself off of the Adderall.
This was tricky because I knew damn well I could continue taking it without it really affecting my regular life, but since being introduced to the real me, I knew better.
I wanted to be real, and this is what taking responsibility looks and feels like. It feels good because it does not feel good. Anyways, I told my doctor that I wanted to see who I really was. I told him that I was trying to be the most authentic version of myself which we both knew meant saying goodbye to medication at some point.
Saying these words out loud to my doctor helped materialize the steps that led me to where I am right now.
No one is responsible for your dependency but you.
I always thought that taking adderall was fine because I am ADD, and I needed it. I always thought that it was something I would just always have to take because it made me feel normal and kept me from binging and purging. I virtually could not function without it.
The list of things I thought I would never do and am currently doing continues to grow. It is one of the few clear signs of strength to feel a change within ourselves that says, No we are not going to live like this anymore. No, this is not okay.
Since I was taking such a high dosage of Adderall, my doctor told me that it could be dangerous if stopped immediately. I made a plan to cut down a little bit week by week, month by month weening myself off slow. By the end of it, I realized I preferred myself without the small crushed up half of a half of a peach pill in my hand.
My mind takes its own time these days. I am calmer now, but with each transition, I had some real struggles. I had lots and lots of tired days. Days where I could not get out of bed or imagine doing anything but eating ( the biggest fear), but I got up anyway and did not reprimand myself for eating regular meals. It was not the crushing end all be all that I thought it would be.
The bigger and possibly most honest fear of stopping the Adderall was the fear of gaining weight, but I found out that this was just a big lie because adderall was just one extra thing keeping me from being free. If anything, after stopping the medicine, I have a healthier relationship with food, a more accepting view of myself and my body, and a more compassionate version of how I view myself, and I feel tough.
I want you to know that nothing is permanent.
Sometimes we need to think about who we want to be and guide that focus. Think of who you could be. One day at a time, one thing at a time.
I am constantly learning about what I am worth and what a treasure it is to be independent from all of these things. I realized that I did not come this far just to keep waiting around on anything other than the universe. ❤
P.S. The Yamanote Line
My friend Lesley and I went on an adventure to Ueno park the other day, and she showed me how to take the Yamanote Line to virtually any station in Tokyo. This train will always make its way back to Shinigawa station (the one with three lines next to the little palm tree).
We went to a Peony Garden, watched traditional drummers, and visited a shrine. Some shrines like the one we saw have gorgeous orange trees with the heaviest fruits I’ve ever seen hanging down. They hang there happily unpicked and full of purpose. This was a happy day. I wore a beret and bought a classic pinwheel from a man in a street cart for 400JPY because it looked like it would make such a nice addition to my meditation space—I was right.
I decided to go out on my own by train by following Lesley’s directions. I wore another hat that I had to remind myself was adorable every hour or so just to keep it on my head.
Lesley’s directions were awesome.
I made it to my destination and saw my first Rodin Sculpture just hanging out in the open like it was just any old sculpture. There it was staring me down like it has for almost a year in my Rodin text book.
“The Gates of Hell” are much larger and more detailed than I ever realized, but no, I see that they are exactly this way. It has not been so long. Who knew that I would be able to navigate my way around any city let alone Tokyo, Japan.
I have goals to ride in a hot air balloon once if not more than once before I die. ❤
For more on the sobriety, yoga, and travel journey, please follow @the_oam on Instagram, and like The OAM facebook page for updates & inspiration. ❤