What Overcoming Addiction Taught Me About Self-Acceptance

Sometimes it takes all the strength you have to like who you are after trauma, but if you can trust the process-you’ll see the value of all of your life experiences reflected in who you’ve become.

“To be free is to be capable of thinking one’s own thoughts-not the thoughts merely of the body, or of society, but thoughts generated by one’s deepest, most original, most essential and spiritual self, one’s individuality.” ~Rudolf Steiner.
“In order to like who I was, to not want to be somebody else, I needed to make peace with everything that I disliked about me, and my past, then commit to changing what I didn’t want to bring into the NOW and the future. I share the truth and the process because it wasn’t easy to do, but it was worth every tear and triumph.” ME

I am almost six years sober, but I only have today — I know. April 4th, 2011 is my sobriety date. On April 3rd, 2011 I wanted to drink myself unconscious, and boy did I do a boozy-of-a-job. Yikes! Its a true miracle I didn’t die from alcohol poisoning. Recently, I have been reflecting on who I was back then and how far I’ve come in sobriety. I have changed so much since that day that it shocks me. I used to be a people please-er because I hated me and I wanted everyone to like me because it was easier than facing conflicts. I compared myself to everyone and I thought I was special and unique because I had suffered more. After all, if you had to endure what I did you’d hate them and the world too. But, my mind has done a complete 180 since then and today, I only want to be ME!

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

I am in a never-ending state of sober self-discovery. Every day that I open my eyes to greet the day before me, I hope that I wake with awe rather than dread. Throughout my life, I’ve been high and I’ve been low. At times in my life, I’ve felt victimized, no doubt. I have also suffered from extreme self-loathing while under spiritual duress and mental chaos. I’ve also known what it feels like to effortlessly float in the ambiance of emotional glee when I felt deeply connected with a like-minded soul, or aligned with a purpose that truly speaks to my heart.

I have felt pangs of loss brought about by accidents, malice, addiction and the reckless behaviors of those who are disconnected from a loving source of guidance. I’ve also felt kindness from strangers, the caring touch of a temporary lover, and the soul resonating rhythm of dancing with destiny, whether it’s a glorious accomplishment or another opportunity for spiritual growth. I’ve been at rock bottom and I’ve also been high on the radiant mountain tops of acceptance. And, after all of the diversity in my life experiences, none of them have extinguished my flame of hope as I continue on the journey for more of what life has to offer. Whatever may be fated for me, I will always show up, ready for the adventure, the blessing, and the lesson. Sometimes I have to continually stop, pause, and pray for guidance in the darkest hours because I simply cannot walk in the opposite direction of awareness.

Because of my sober 12-Step work, I do not seek approval in wordy commentary from behind screens or behind the curtain of Oz (little voice with a big special effects). I do not write for the approval of others, I write for the survival of my muse and the incessant evolution of my expanding sober soul. Being on my spiritual path does not exclude me form the darkness, but if I am truly connected to a source greater than myself I will know how to use the tools I have gathered along the way of my personal development. I will intuitively know how to turn in the direction of the light; the light of peace, serenity, tolerance, acceptance, and wisdom that does not react, but waits for the dust to settle and the way to become clear once again.

Sharing is caring enough to act, to make a difference as I continually throw stones that create ripples where I cannot see.

I DO sincerely hope that my words will be read by ALL the eyes that have seen the same things in life that I have. I hope to encourage, inspire, and motivate those who, like me, have felt lost and forsaken. I hope to give testimony and reason for all the hurting souls to lift their heads up to the sky and tackle one more day when they may feel as if they just can’t go on one-second-more. That instead of taking your life, I hope you learn to give yourself a break because you are deserving of MORE than you feel your worth when you’re at the lowest, most-vulnerable-point-of-your-life. I’ve been there, I know how it feels.

I am ME, the master of my experiences. ME becomes WE if you flip it over or turn it around. If you identify and resonate with my words, then together we shall move onward to enlighten ourselves for the benefit of many. By unveiling the real inner workings of messy human life in regards to addiction, abuse, anger, over-dose, rage, shame and hopelessness, we have a chance to reach those who desperately need help. It is my experience that I could not go up, if first, I was not down. I could not be found, if first, I was not lost. I am no longer afraid of truth and honesty because they have miraculously become my allies on the winding roads of recovery. Those of us who have suffered and turned toward a new way of life are strong and many. We are born form adversity and strengthened in love and service, and it all begins at the turning point of spiritual bankruptcy.

“I do not want to be equal to a man, or like other women. I want to be ME! Finally, I like who I have become. I can trust that whatever is happening in the world around me is part of the continual becoming of the sober ME I choose to be!” ~RLE
“Its not your job to like me-it’s mine.” ~Byron Katie

Originally published at www.rebeccaledwards.com.

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