On this winding road of sobriety, it can be difficult to see how far you’ve come. Thanksgiving is coming up and it’s the perfect day to reflect upon the subtle shifts as well as the monumental changes that have shaped your experience and opened your eyes to bigger and bolder way of living.
As you celebrate this holiday and navigate the challenges of juggling people, places and your own expectations, give thanks for the many gems you’ve acquired along the way.
Here are a few that come to mind, but these are only the beginning. This path you’ve chosen has a way of providing you with exactly what you need in any given moment – and there’s so much more to come.
This is something you haven’t had in a long time. You’re now able to see yourself in the right light. Your life is full of possibility just waiting to be discovered.
You have the power to create what you want in life. This comes from within and builds as you continue down this path of sobriety. The more you face your fears as they come up, the easier it gets.
As you observe your own behavior, you’re learning how to be successful every day. This process is full of truth, discovery and profound moments. You’re on the right path.
You take responsibility for your own success. By owning the consequences of your actions, there are no more excuses. You are living fully and honestly and taking a giant leap toward an amazing future.
What was once a constant state of unrest is replaced with awareness. In your mind and body, you can bring yourself into a space of calm at any time. No longer rocked by the unsteady energy of your past, you are grounded in knowing that life shows you what you’re made of and time is your greatest healer.
You are no longer tangled up in a web of drama and anxiety. You have built a foundation that gives you the confidence to stand on your own and create a life that supports your sobriety without distraction. You see this angst as a waste of precious time and energy. You choose what plays out between your ears and create your own outcomes.
You connect more deeply with yourself and others. This continues to get stronger as you open up and bring people in.
In your past this didn’t seem possible. You understand that it all happened for a reason. So you could find your place in this world and expand what you have to give. It’s time for you to accept how precious your experience has been and use it to bring light to others.
What other gifts are you grateful for?
November 17, 2022
When I was in high school, I wrote my junior theme on a brilliant and extremely hopeful book by Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning. It was life changing. Frankl was a Holocaust survivor who spent time as an inmate in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
After surviving this horrific experience, he conducted an analysis on how human beings cope with traumatic circumstances. He found that after going through the initial phases of shock and apathy, once liberated, many of the inmates experienced a psychological state known as de-personalization. This is a lack of self-awareness that can bring about dissociation from the mind or body.
In early sobriety we can find ourselves in a similar state. We’ve moved beyond the crisis and given up the substance, but we continue to look for opportunities to numb out in order to cope. It leaves us feeling disjointed and unable to access our feelings, emotional state, and at times our physical needs.
As we know, our addictive behavior allowed us to check out for years or even decades, and for many of us this happened during our younger years which was a time when our brain functioning was still developing.
So, it’s no surprise that when we find ourselves entering sobriety, we are a bit disheveled and out of sorts. It’s like coming out of the movies in broad daylight. Having been ensconced in the darkness of the theatre, the door suddenly opens and we’re out on the street in the bright sunlight.
It takes time for our eyes to adjust.
As you step into this new world of sobriety, handle yourself with care. Take the time you need to get acquainted and more comfortable with accessing and experiencing your feelings. Seek help from those around you. The goal is to gradually find those rougher edges that once felt too overwhelming to face and make peace with them once and for all.
It’s the only way to move past the discomfort and find the peace that’s been waiting for you on the other side.
November 15, 2022
Trusting that everything will work out in the end can be difficult. We often look outside ourselves for assurance that things will be ok.
We’re told to have faith and we reluctantly say we will, but have no idea how to actually put that faith into practice. What we fail to realize is that we’ve done this all before.
When we got sober, we had nothing but a slim glimmer of hope that things were going to be alright. We had no other choice but to believe. The alternative was to continue down a path of pain and self-sabotage.
We had no idea what the outcome would look like, but we knew one thing for sure, that we no longer wanted to live this way. So, we went all in. We placed our bet and got in the game without even knowing the rules.
We jumped with nothing more than the conviction that things had to change and a simple belief that by taking action, any action, we were moving closer to something better.
So, what if we decided that we were old pros at this?
That we’re used to no guarantees. We know that any risk big or small, brings reward and with every step we take toward the unknown, we’re bound to gain the wisdom and insight needed to grow and learn something new about ourselves.
All it takes is the memory of how powerful you were in the past, to recognize the strength you have in the present.
Those are the truths that will propel you forward.
November 6, 2022
I believe that women are suffering because we don’t feel good enough. We hide our strength because we’ve been taught to play small.
I believe in helping women live bigger, bolder lives in recovery because getting sober is just the beginning. It opens us up to recognize our purpose and to start sharing with the world.
I believe in holding the space for women to discover what’s possible because we need the support to look beyond our own perceived limitations.
I believe in connection and community because it’s the life force of sobriety. The more we share each other’s experiences, the more we grow. Our stories are the thread that unites and strengthens us.
I believe that anyone can get sober. All they need is the will to make it happen and the courage to ask for help.
Being a professional woman today is difficult and often competitive. It doesn’t have to be that way. Showing vulnerability is slowly becoming more acceptable, but we still have a long way to go.
I believe women try to be everything to everyone because we’re constantly looking for external acceptance. We seek relief outside of ourselves to escape the intensity and pressure coming from within.
I believe that addiction needs to continue to be brought out into the light because the stigma of recovery is keeping people from getting help.
I believe that self-love is the question AND the answer because without it, we’ll never show up fully as the magnificent and powerful women we are. We’re not wired for it though, so it takes time and a willingness to get there.
I believe in miracles because I experience them every day. Sobriety has allowed me to overcome my fears and find the courage to start living my life.
October 30, 2022
I find the more I speak with others in sobriety, the more it confirms to me that this journey is what we make of it.
When I hear it referred to as an inconvenience, burden or a curse, it reminds me that life is about perspective and we all have our own boat to row.
Our truth finds us when we’re ready, not a moment sooner.
I view my sobriety as an end to the waiting, struggling and searching for something unattainable.
Validation outside of myself.
I walked that line of uncertainty for too long.
I know now more than ever, my experience broke me down – with the sole purpose of building me back up into a better version of myself.
The pain ultimately provided me with the strength and curiosity to move past the excuses and get on with my life.
It has made me who I am today. Of that, I am certain.
What truth has sobriety taught you so far?
October 24, 2022
For many of us during our drinking days, the depth of churn and drama we created was constant and unyielding.
We often found ourselves always in the midst of turmoil. Doing whatever we could to try to clean up the mess we created the night before. Thinking we were so smart and no one was onto our game. When in reality, we were hanging on by a thread, struggling to stay ahead of the fallout and trying desperately to balance the highs and lows with whatever energy we could muster.
A fruitless effort to say the least. When you’re on a treadmill doing whatever you can to outrun the consequences of your own creation, exhaustion is inevitable.
In sobriety, we take ownership for our actions and pick our battles wisely, knowing that our precious energy is needed for more noble pursuits. We create a calm and clear path by letting go of the struggle and holding ourselves accountable for staying in a place of pure integrity in everything we do.
In essence, when we take care of ourselves we consciously forego the drama for the greater reward of peace of mind and balance.
Allowing us to finally give up the chase and find peace in simplicity.
October 11, 2022
It’s safe to say that most of us strive to extend love and compassion toward others. Although we may not always get it right, we do our best to remain conscious of this intention at all times.
But, when it comes to demonstrating this same courtesy to ourselves, it can be more difficult. Often times, we end up dishonoring ourselves in either our thoughts, beliefs or actions.
In the midst of change, having self-compassion and refraining from inner judgement can often be difficult and those are the times when we need it the most.
Here are 3 simple ways to become your own ally in times of change.
We all know in life there are no guarantees so make the commitment to do what you can to have your own back.
October 5, 2022