Melissa is going through the journey of sobriety and I wanted to give you another view of what it is all about and why we fear relapse which is something she shares her personal experience with here! She does an amazing job just sharing what it is like after a relapse and picking up the pieces. You can check more from her here. Melissa thank you for letting us share this and it's all about people helping people!
Here is her story!
If you would have told me that the week after I hit rock-bottom would be one of the happiest and most calm of my life, I would not have believed you.
Last week today I relapsed. It was time to face myself, face who I was, what led me there, and why I couldn’t seem to escape it. This forced me to have difficult conversations with others and myself, especially myself after I was detoxed and back on my feet. Who do I want to be? How am I going to live differently? What parts of myself can I start leaving behind? I spent a lot of time on my own this past weekend, walking in nature, praying, meditating.
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I needed to sit inside of my shattered armor, sit inside those feelings in my chest. My whole life I always fought back, always retaliated against everything. There was always a war inside of me, always something that felt unsettled or discontent. For the first time this last week I have felt peace, no war. My mind has been still, my heart has been still, my resistance to feeling pain has dissipated, and for the first time in my life, I feel okay with myself, all of myself, even the defects, and shortcomings. My heart had to be broken, so all of the light could come in. As soon as that warmth and the new sense of the life filled my soul, I was eager to get started on making this next chapter of my life better.
Suddenly everything I resisted before I was embracing, and allowing it to fill me up. I was hearing and seeing everything with brand new eyes, like I had died and come back to life, and didn’t want to waste a second of this next chance at doing things with more wisdom, more knowledge, and more compassion. First I had to truly forgive myself and reminded myself that forgiveness is not a one-time deal. Then I had to make everything bigger than myself. I had to make my illness bigger than myself, realizing I am one of the millions who has suffered with it. I had to make recovery bigger then myself, realizing that the twelve steps have helped and improved the lives of so many, and if it worked for my fellows, then it would work for me too if I went in with my whole heart. Recovery is about fellowship, and we are all there to help each other.
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I took every scenario and made it larger than myself, but mostly fear. Fear is a human experience, we all go through it, we all face it. People overcome fear every day too and just embrace it. So now so do I. I made a choice that whenever I am faced with an experience that makes me uncomfortable or afraid, my only choice is to run towards it and tackle it. If I made the fear larger then myself, then the ups and downs of the process were more then just about my own evolution, but about helping others, and being present on their life’s journey too. The more I lean into my own emotions, my own fears, my own flaws, and failures, the more I can be of service and compassionate towards others, because I understand my own heart and mind better.
There is suffering involved in healing, this we learn at a young age. If you want to learn how to ride a bike, you are going to fall, get scraped in the process, but you keep getting back up because you really want to ride that bike. That bike means freedom, adventure, fun. Suffering must happen before freedom is earned. My friend Molly always talks about suffering constructively in the pursuit of working towards your goals. You fall down, you get back up. You make a mistake, you learn, you grow, you try another angle. Get comfortable with risk.
I gave up on myself eight years ago, and after eight years of misery, and a new lease on life, I vow to never give up on myself again, and to not let the voices of the world touch my soul and derail my purpose. I was meant for more. This time I will live my life for more than just myself.
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