To read "Inside the Storm: Part 1" go here.
Written February 28th, 2013
There was a time in my life when I gave up. On EVERYTHING. Not the grace of surrender type of giving up, but the hands thrown in the air in defeat, the "I can't do this anymore so I'm not even going to try," type giving up. Due to my thoughts and beliefs, as well as my actions, my life was spiraling downward at a very rapid rate. I was going down in flames. My solution at the time was to take a high dive, head first, into the numbness of drugs and alcohol.
I fell in love with my drug of choice, finding solace in it's euphoria. And when the drugs wore off and the pain came back, even stronger, I was too far in denial to realize that it wasn't helping at all. It kept coming back, stronger and stronger, and I kept chasing it, delving deeper into the reprieve of my self-constructed cloak of denial. I kept giving up more trading it for another fix of numbness, but it kept coming back, the pain, stalking me in every moment of my life.
It becomes an endless cycle, one it's easy to get lost in. I wrote journal entry after journal entry filled with pain, misery, hopelessness. I wanted my life to be better but I didn't believe it was possible for it to be better for me. I felt stuck in the thick thorny bushes of defeat. I didn't wave a white flag, I didn't send out an SOS, I just laid down in a hole, slowly killing myself and praying for the earth to open up and swallow me whole.
It's been 3 years 9 months and some days since I was that girl. And while at times it feels like a lifetime ago, I keep part of it in the fore front of my mind so that I remember what it was like to feel that way. I choose to keep the story around and use it as a tool to help others, for I am not my story. I am not some tragic sad tale. I am a hero on an adventurous journey back to wholeness. I am a success story. Yet still, I am not the story.
I shared that recently an event has taken place in my life, co-created by yours truly (as hard as that is to realize), that has shaken me to my core. To say it has been rough would be an understatement. But today is a good day as I choose to see the joy in my life and left myself open to it. On my lunch break at work today I checked my e-mail. Somehow I am subscribed to this newsletter (I don't know how I became subscribed) that has inspired me on more than one occasion. Today was no different. It spoke of finding yourself going through something challenging and of not giving up. I love how the Universe, my Soul, and my Creator communicate with me. There was a link to a YouTube video from the movie "Facing the Giants," which I haven't seen. While I do not subscribe to the belief system that it is about, I know to take what resonates with me and leave the rest. I clicked on the link and watched the clip and chills circulated throughout my body and tears came to my eyes. It touched the very Soul of me. And I needed it.
It was about giving it your best and not giving up, even when it hurts, even when it burns, to find that place inside of you and to keep moving forward. Over the past week there have been moments when I didn't know if I could do it, it hurt too much. I felt defeated. Not the type of defeated I felt in the past when I dove into drugs, but a sense of defeat in which I didn't know if I could take another step. I literally found myself on the floor, and, of course, while I was down there, I said numerous desperate prayers of surrender. And, as much as it hurt, I kept pulling myself up and telling myself, "I can do this. I can do this." It felt like everything hurt, each breath I took, each movement I made as I sat back down and got back up. But I continued to get up, "I can do this." I pulled myself up, wiped my tears to do my make-up, and went to work, which met me with more tears. I was given the option to go home early if I couldn't deal with work. This is a side of me that people haven't seen because I haven't had to walk through anything to this extent in sobriety. I almost did take that offer to go home. Instead I stayed. And as I stayed I became determined to make it through the work night and be okay, and I did, and I was.
You see, the pattern has been to retreat and hide when things are really painful. And I don't mean regular every day pain, I mean deep hurtful pain. You know the kind, when it hurts to breathe. In the past, in my active addiction, when met with such pain I actually left work and went home to hide and dive into the numbness of drugs. This time my Soul sent me a moment as a reminder and gave me an out when I was told I could go home. It was a reminder of Who I Really Was but the choice in who to be in that moment was mine. I'm fortunate that today, drugs don't cross my mind, but hiding does. I made one small different choice and shifted the energy of things.
Does that mean that I woke up the next day to sunshine and butterflies? No. Granted, I did feel better but found myself stuck in misery the following day. I tried to choose joy but chose miserableness instead. The "I don't f-ing care about anything right now" kind of misery. I sat myself down in a puddle of slop and smeared it all over myself. The hose was right there. I could have gotten up at any moment and rinsed myself off but I chose to sit there, rubbing it all over myself.
Now, why, when I have all of these tools, would I choose that? What is in a person comes up and out of a person and sometimes that is the best feeling place one has access to. And I was getting it out because I was talking about it and vacillating between misery, doubt and moments of clarity. I was one big, contradiction, knowing how to process it yet doubting it at the same time. I very strange and interesting place to be.
Last night, as I was pondering it all, I reminded myself that I have to be the one to heal this. Me, my Soul, my Creator, and the Universe - my Dream Team of sorts, because there isn't one person or thing outside of myself that can do it for me. As I keep saying, "the only way out, is through the door marked 'in.'" Every organ system in my body is in need of healing right now from this shock to my life and my system. External signs are reflected from the INSIDE. It's an inside job all the way around. Even this video outside of myself that I was inspired by was brought to me by INNER forces.
Am I going to give up? ABSOLUTELY NOT. It's not an option. Yes it hurts. Yes it burns. Yes, at moments I am unsure of a lot of things and the sure again in the next moment. But, like I said, I've given up before, and while I am grateful that it brought me to this place, giving up is not an option anymore. I get to define this event and this moment for myself. My thoughts and fears and beliefs co-created this and my thoughts and faith, as well as changing my beliefs, can co-create something different. I can choose to take the blindfold off and see things clearly and by being OPEN to the I can use this as an opportunity for growth and to be of service to myself and others. I can choose to heal. And I can choose to put one foot in front of the other, even when my legs are weary.
Will I remember all of this in each and every moment, especially when a giant wave of pain comes crashing down on e? I hope that I do. But even if I don't, that's okay. You see, the storm always clears. Clarity always comes. The sun always comes out, eventually. Because I choose for it to. Even when I can't make sense of any of it and I doubt all of it, somehow I manage to cling to the fact that everything always works out for my Highest Good, whether I can see that from this vantage point or not. When I stop seeking the answers, when I flow with the process, when I take the blindfold off and let my eyes remain open to a bigger visual field, internally and externally, the answers come. In their own time, in their own way. One baby step at a time.
It's not like me to let people know I am sharing from such a vulnerable place but in my mission to be of service to myself and others, I know there is treasure in here. May the light that I shine on my own internal world help you bring the light of healing to yours.
With love and light,