I know I haven’t been great at writing lately. I have been asked often where I have been, why I haven’t been writing and to please come back. That really means so much. I really didn’t realize people were actually reading this! So thanks! I started this blog to help encourage other people who may be going through recovery or know someone who is. Last year was truly the most difficult year of sobriety and life in general that I have ever experienced. It was also the best year I have ever had. Strange how those two things can happen at the same time. So this first post back is going to be a little bumpy.
I felt like some things last year just needed to be kept private at that time. I wanted to respect the people and events that were happening. Maybe one day I will write a tell all book, that is if I can remember everything! I always thought my memory would get better as I got more sober time. After 5 and a half years that doesn’t seem to be the case. So I will still keep taking too many pics and posting them so that I get reminded how awesome my life is. You just have to love technology sometimes.
I saw a quote the other day that just truly resonated with how I am feeling….
She remembered who she was and the game changed.
I almost felt this cosmic shift at some point a month ago. My worth became clear to me. I realized I was not truly seeing who I really was/am. Don’t get me wrong, I have always been a very confident person, but this was more about my worthiness. Over the past few months I have been seeing a new therapist. She has helped me address the issues I have struggled with my entire life. I truly believe you have to find the right therapist for you. You have to find the one that connects with how you learn. We have been working on addressing issues like the rape, domestic violence and general relationship issues I have fought for so long. Now, we are not anywhere near finished. Honestly, I feel like it is a life long work in progress. I have surrendered this process to the Lord. I have let go of what I thought I should be and admitted some really tough things to myself. I don’t see all the things that have happened as bad things, but more so these building blocks that have lifted me up.
I sometimes feel like I just can’t be stretched any further. I feel like I am just going to break. There was a period this last that I felt nothing more could go wrong, but then it did and guess what, I was fine. I made it through. Year 33 taught me that I will survive. It taught me that I will continue to experience loss, great loss, but it will not kill me until it actually kills me. It taught me that I have to learn how to learn from this grief and loss. It taught me that I have to find a way everyday to smile. It taught me that this is what life is really about, the stretching. Growth is painful.
Growth refers to a positive change in size, and/or maturation, often over a period of time. Growth can occur as a stage of maturation or a process toward fullness or fulfillment. It can also perpetuate endlessly, for example, as detailed by some theories of the ultimate fate of the universe.
To grow, you have to change. Growing requires stretching. Stretching can be painful. You shed this person you were and become more. To be better, you can’t stay the same. That alone is scary. Staying in your comfort zone, the things you know is easy, but not truly rewarding. How will you know what life has to offer if you never look. Try things. Fail. Learn. This is my way of life now. When you realize that you will be just fine no matter what, you get this bravery that didn’t exist before. I know I am not invincible. I know I can be hurt, but I also know any pain is worth the joy that I could find.
I truly thought the heartbreak I experienced last year, multiple times, would kill me. I thought I just wasn’t going to make it. Many people have asked how do I still put myself out there? How can you still risk that heartache again? I can because I know it won’t kill me. I can because that heartache helped me grow. I can because those moments of pure bliss were worth all the tears I shed. I know I will be hurt again. I know I will cry again. I also know I want that happiness that only comes from vulnerability. I am going to continue giving my all because that is the only way to get the joy that comes with that risk.
I came closer to drinking in the 5 plus years than I ever have before. I drove myself to the gas station and sat in the parking lot thinking, no one will know. I wanted to be numb. I didn’t want to feel those feelings of pain and despair any longer. I didn’t drink. I knew I would know. I knew that would never be the end. I knew my life was over if I had that beer. So I just keep driving. I cried. I hurt. And change came from that pain.
This change has made me a person I am proud of. I am becoming the person I can be proud of for me and for my daughter. I want to be the person she can look up to. I want to model a woman who knows she is a child of God and a beautiful creation, inside to out. I know now I can’t depend on anyone else for my joy. It has to come from within and from my faith in things I cannot see.
So this year, year 34, I am working on living in the now and truly being present for each moment. I am working on soaking up each joy the day brings and not concerning myself so much with what is happening tomorrow. At the same time, I am working on being more practical and responsible. I am really just attempting to be an adult and a mother who puts our life first. I have real adult goals and am working on them. I think having measurable goals helps keeps me focused. I love my life. I love me career. I love my family and friends. Things are not perfect, but they are perfect for me at this moment and I will greet each day deliberately with tenacity.
I promise my posts will become more frequent and coherent. It is so difficult to write about an entire year at once. I also do my best writing in my head half asleep, another goal I need to work on. So get ready for my Vanessa crazy in print. It is coming! Always remember that you are going to be just fine and things will eventually get better. If I can make it through my 33rd year of life, you can make it through today, no matter what.