Lonely is a room full of people with cramped comments and not enough space to breathe. All of the breathing techniques I know are only just now starting to disarm thoughts of self-doubt, but it takes practice and trust. It takes practice and trust that the universe is a kind place live. It takes practice and trust to say, “I am what I am, and I do not need to be extra for anyone to be here. I am here. The end.”
Does anyone else feel this inner obligation for saintliness in sobriety?
I am a reformed woman making my way through life.
Be careful about hiding
you might just
Depth does not flourish if it is not allowed to exit through the surface. It will continue to produce momentum and boil to a limit. Let it go or it will destroy you.
I think I started hiding when I noticed that I had imperfections galore. Once I began noticing my own imperfections, I stopped recognizing imperfections in other people. All of my noticing went to cameras facing in on me (not tuning in constructively, but turning in obsessively). I remember bulimia trances as if someone else was behind the wheel controlling my mind. It would happen so casually, and I would block it out like it was nothing. This was something bubbling up from too much suppression that I needed to expel. I hid my drinking for a long, long time (not very well), but it was another way to keep me floating. Hiding isn’t wrong if it makes it easier to survive, right?
What does does hiding look like without drinking and disordered eating?
The shadow is anything we know that we are not. We are trained to keep these things hidden.
Jungian psychologist Marion Woodman says that we are supposed to expose the shadow. She says that we are supposed to expose the shame. Shame hides from the light, so the more we name it and call it out for what it is, the more it will squirm. We will feel way too present for our liking once these worlds collide, but this is how we become whole again. What is the worst that will happen us? Woodman says that it is such a “relief to be human instead of the god or goddess my parents imagined me to be or I imagined them to be.” At the end of the day, we all want validation for our humanness.
Ask the questions, and do the work.
How do we bring our secrets to the light? How do we let these two sides of us merge into one balanced person?
Every time we stand in ourselves instead of choosing to recoil, we light a fire in us that will continue to string together one after the other. Consistency is key. This is true in Hebbian Theory on a neurological level with “what fires together wires together”, and it is true metaphorically when it comes to taking chances with our own dark sides. The light is only bright because it exists in the dark. The two sides can co-exist.
The double life is something you hear a lot about in AA.
I was the perfect woman. No one knew that I had this secret boiling behind the scenes until it started busting open.
The double life can continue on after alcohol and disordered eating. It seeps through in our relationships with others. This creates confusion for ourselves and for the people around us. We grow cold so easily. I will let you see me when I am lovable, and right now I am not at all lovable.
No one ever asked us to be perfect, and if they did it was an unrealistic and dehumanizing request. We are not making up for anything that happened in the past by overcompensating for it now. We spent so much time ignoring our truth that we owe it to ourselves to honor all the we are, and this does not mean being perfect.
Stand in your truth!
What does that look like?
I am only just now learning exactly what it means for me to stand in my truth by recognizing where it is the easiest for me to shy away.
Things I used to reject in myself that I now embrace;
- Being thin vs. being me ( It is so hard to transform this thinking.) If I am not thin, I am not acceptable.
- Being a beginner. Learning how to ask for help and support and being okay with not knowing exactly where I am going.
- Taking criticism gracefully. My view of myself was so harsh that anyone else’s views felt unacceptable like You have no idea what I’ve been listening to all day. Please don’t even start with me, okay? I am able to connect with others and hear their opinions without crumbling.
The Whole Story
The thing that connects us from now to later is the same thing that connects all of our sides. All of the versions of who we really are can actually level out, so who are you really? How would you answer this question if you knew that the results could not hurt you? Most likely you would pour your whole heart out. Most likely, you would share your whole story, not just a part of it because we are more than the edited versions of our lives. Maybe the whole story isn’t for everyone to hear, but it is something we strive to live by and acknowledge day to day. Understanding all that we are made of is an embodiment of our respect for our entire story. Stop hiding because something inside of you is dying to set free a deeper truth. We are learning to accept that we have God and animal inside of us, and it hurts to conceal our stories. It hurts more than sharing them ever could. Letting ourselves truly become means leaving behind the unrealistic versions of ourselves we’ve failed to fulfill over and over again. We must trust that we are capable of living our best lives as who we really are. We must trust that the universe is kind, and we must trust that we are who we are, and we are beautiful.
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