I had a huge ah-ha moment during Christmas this year. I made a post about it in the Friends of Tipping Point Community; if you haven’t joined us in there yet, you can do so here.
Here’s what I posted:
“I had an ah-ha today.
The true recovery destination, for me, is about being wildly happy alone. Being happy with and by myself. Not needing anything or anyone else to make me happy. WOW.”
For a little backstory, I became an alcoholic around the time my marriage was falling apart. I had gone straight from living in my parents’ home to living with my husband. My family was everything to me, and I was spiraling in feelings of abandonment and low self-esteem, with surprisingly no access to coping skills to manage it.
So I turned to a drink to soothe.
Even after I found recovery, I felt unsettled with myself. I moved ten times, not knowing where I should go, what I should do, or what my purpose was. Or even who I was! I got into a relationship that wasn’t good for me because I was afraid of being alone, which led me down a codependent path it took years more to recover from.
Overcoming all of it—the alcoholism, the codependency, the sugar addiction—it’s all been part of the same journey for me. The journey to find and love myself.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, I chose to be home alone. I’d spent December 23rd with my whole family, and I decided that on Christmas I wanted to simply read, light candles, and have a bath. I wanted to go out for a drive. I wanted to drive through Dunkin’ Donuts and pay for the people behind me. I wanted to go to an Alcathon and attend a bunch of meetings. So that’s what I did.
And it hit me: this is why I got sober.
It wasn’t to eat potato chips and ice cream or smoke cigarettes and drink gallons of coffee. I got sober to find myself, to find my true essence.
I’m finally at the place in that journey where I love being alone with myself. I’m my own best friend. I don’t need alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, or another person to make me happy.
It took a lot of work to get me here.
I took myself out on dates.
I did mirror work. (This is where you look in the mirror and make eye contact with yourself and say, “I like you” again and again until you burst into tears. It’s hard shit.)
I hugged myself, put kisses on my arms, and told myself, “I love you,” every night before bed.
I learned how to like my own company without needing a drink or food to numb me out.
I learned how to care for myself, to feel safe in my own body and mind.
And I don’t think I can express how good it feels.
It’s not about the drugs and alcohol.
Whether you’re the person with alcohol or drugs controlling your life, or whether you’re the person who loves the person with alcohol or drugs controlling their life, push the alcohol away. It’s not about the alcohol.
It’s about the purpose of your life.
It’s about finding yourself, again. About coming home to you. Falling in love with you. As often as it takes to feel home.
Start by looking at what you’re putting in your body. What are you eating? What are you drinking? What are you saying to yourself? Because what’s going on outside of you is a reflection of what’s going on inside of you.
The more you can do to care for yourself, even in tiny ways, the closer you’ll get to your own recovery destination, and I promise, it’s a journey well worth it.