Where do you begin and in what ways can you start to help your own healing? That was a huge question for me at the beginning of my recovery journey. I knew I was willing and able. I was motivated to get out of the cesspool I was swimming in and I had the support systems I needed around me, but I was still feeling ungrounded. I’m the kind of gal who will immerse herself fully into a job that needs to get done. I’m definitely not afraid of commitment but I need to feel I’m contributing in a constructive way. Where to begin with self-help and healing was something I had to learn along the way.
So what did I learn?
Well I learned that there’s a lot we can do for ourselves. We talk a lot in recovery about being powerless over substances and behaviours. That’s a scary prospect. I wasn’t completely convinced of that. So, I took matters into my own hands and decided that I wasn’t powerless or helpless. I began to logically understand that once I ingested an addictive substance or took part in addictive behaviour then I became powerless over my future. But I wasn’t powerless over my choices to engage in harmful behaviour. Every time I used I made the choice to use, therefore rendering myself ungrounded and out of control.
The choice is yours!
The choice not to use is huge and difficult at times, but it is me making the decision. And this was true for all of my addictive and manipulative behaviours. I didn’t have to pick up a substance, or try to control another person. Choosing abusive relationships and self-destruction on a daily basis was a choice. Sure making the choice not to do those things was hellish at times, and sure I swung to the dark side regularly. I had to know better to do better. But eventually, once I knew the choice was mine I couldn’t continue to harm myself relentlessly. I couldn’t fool myself into thinking that I had no power over myself or my actions. There were options, most of which were going to bring me to a better outcome. Will I snort that line of coke or will I get up and go the hell home and save my life?
Today it’s not so hard
I’m not battling the big stuff anymore. I’m not in active self-destruct mode and can feel and see the potential for that coming 100 miles away. When the fog settles it’s easy to get to know yourself and your patterns. Today I can battle with maintenance a little bit. Managing triggers is the biggest one for me and walking away from them. Getting myself to bed early, eating healthy and exercising are ways which lessen the triggers of tiredness and illness. Tiredness and illness can then lead to unhealthy thinking which then may lead to using. Giving myself full permission to be myself, stops feelings of resentment and frustration, which can, you guessed it, lead to using. Focusing on my family and their welfare, stops me dwelling on my own abusive past. It helps me to heal my own pain by doing better than those who were supposed to love me. Accepting the love that is freely given to me instead of craving the love I didn’t get brings peace and closure in my heart.
Making the right choices brings huge responsibility and sometimes loneliness. It takes awhile to get used to not following the crowd. And lets face it, oblivion was awesome at times. Trust me though, if you stick with making the right choices, oblivion is no longer required. It actually begins to feel like a nightmare you can’t wake up from instead of the peace you seek. But you gotta start somewhere. I highly suggest you not snort that line of coke and go the fuck home and save your goddam life!