As soon as I think I’ve got it all figured out, the universe assures me that I in fact, do not. Year 32 has been a gut punch, a year of highs that come with anxiety, and inexplicable lows that seemingly came out of nowhere. A year where I felt away from myself and close to myself at the same time. This morning on my 33rd birthday, I woke up at 6:20am and watched the sunrise. There is something about the peace and stillness of the morning that only belongs to me, that I love, even though waking up early is difficult for me. I wanted to see the sunrise because I wanted physical proof. I wanted proof that I am here, that I am alive, that this life I’m living is real. Without fail when I see the sun rise, the trees sway in the wind, or the ocean beat against the shore I feel like everything is going to be ok, that I am supported by the universe.
I think all of life is a journey of coming home to ourselves. When I was drinking and using drugs I did not know this. I didn’t live life that way. I was the furthest from myself I’ve ever been. I didn’t know how to get back. I didn’t know that there was more to life. I thought life was work, have fun, party, do crazy things, and die. When I got sober I became a new person. I became me. But it’s been 5 years since then and I now find that I am a totally different person once again and that’s been hard to navigate and accept. I guess I thought I’d get sober, be who I am, and that’s it. I didn’t anticipate feeling different, being different, and seeing the world different once again, 5 years in.
I don’t think I thought life would be easy, but I thought that I would have a handle on it all. I am normally the one helping others and helping them reach out for help. When I felt uncharacteristically overwhelmed last year, I knew I had to be the one to ask for help. I found a trauma therapist who makes me feel seen and heard and continues to help me walk through a number of things, one of which is just navigating the basic ins and outs of life. I have a lot readers and friends who ask me or tell me, “you make it look so easy. How are you so confident? How do you stay sober when everyone around you is drinking?”
The truth is it’s not easy. Sometimes it’s really fucking hard. Sometimes I manage not to drink, but I don’t feel sober. Some days I still feel like it’s not fair that I’m the one who has to feel everything, that I’m the one who has chosen to actively participate in clearing the wreckage of my past, and be my real self, while the majority of the world is still numbing everything and living a lie. This past year I’ve had to try really hard at getting back to me, at thinking about what I want and need and making these boundaries clear to the people in my life.
Not only that, I have to do these things every day. Every day I wake up I have to choose recovery. I have to choose to keep or bend my boundaries. I have to choose where my energy goes, what feelings to act on, what to heal and how. There are days when I feel like my head is just above water and below the surface I’m treading like a crazy person. The overwhelm of choices alone is maddening.
What have I learned over the last year? Nothing is perfect and everything is wonderful. And just when you think you’ve got all the most amazing people in your life, the universe will drop someone else into the mix. But I truly believe this is all a part of me coming home to myself.
33 rotations around the sun, 6 of those sober as fuck. And no matter what, I still feel a deep sense of peace and contentment in my soul and that’s what makes all of this worth it.
As Sarah Blondin says:
“Our deepest hunger is that of connection with our spirit, our source, our essence. This is what motivates our lives, in each relationship and experience, we are looking for it to wake something within us. It is not to reap success or gain prestigious rewards. It is to really feel and hear our hearts. To remember from what we came, to rejoice in the mystery, to dance with all of life. This is what reviving the spirit looks and feels like. It is coming to communion with the unknown while feeling upheld and cradled by a reverberating trust we cannot give word or name.”