I was a little gob-smacked when I realized that if I gave to myself the same love, care, compassion and respect that I so easily gave to others in my work as a Nurse that it could save my life.
I was 44 and barely able to keep my head above water as I drowned myself in the drink. My life could not have been more shattered. I had just woken up from another blackout, drunken night. One in which I lost hours of time and memory. But the torturous part was that I remembered enough to feel like I had lost another piece of my soul. I had my phone in my hand as I debated calling 911 as my body was fighting off another withdrawal seizure. My brow was sweaty, yet I was cold, and I felt like I was on the brink of death as my body, mind and soul felt ravaged and twisted from the demons that afflicted me. My demon was alcoholism. My soul was darkened, my spirit was blocked and my body was failing me. I was drinking myself to death.
I was at a crossroads and I was faced with two paths. It was as if I was standing before two massively tall doors, backed into a corner where I was being forced to make a choice.
Picking door number one would be deciding to die an alcoholic death. To keep drinking and lowering the bar of my existence and maybe be successful with a suicide attempt. To be the drunk that I vowed I would never be after watching my mom live and die an alcoholic. To continue sliding down the same treacherous path my mother had blazed for me. Or do I choose door number two? I matter and I have worth. Deciding to open up this door meant to choose recovery, choose life. But for the Grace of God, (love this Keith Urban song by the way) I chose recovery, I chose life.
The truth is, that so many of us skate through life accepting subpar standards, the status quo. Afraid to look at or sit with our stuff. Moving away from the areas we need to look at behind distractions. Distractions become the guise of who we really are. Albeit a new outfit, another bag of chips, a boyfriend, or maybe even a new place to live in the form of a geographical cure. But peel back one layer or move one too many times and we are still left with ourselves, the one we are running from. I get it, because I did it, until I couldn’t. I was on my knees dancing with death and suffering as alcoholism came to claim me. This would be the mark of my first recovery, life on life’s terms. A new design for living. Life 101. Now began my journey of self-discovery that began with self-care and brought me to self-love. For me, recovery meant learning to love and care for myself the way I deserved. Some of us don’t learn how to care for ourselves very well in the homes we grew up in, but as adults, we now have the choice to learn and do better. Over time, my self-care journey came to be my personal LiveWell Recipe™.
My LiveWell Recipe™ saved my life from alcoholism and today I live by it!
You don’t have to hit rock bottom in your life as I did to pursue recovery. Life is a journey to wholeness, where we learn to take care of our body, mind, emotions & spirit.
What I found was that my self-care journey, my recovery from alcoholism, my new way of living and caring for myself was really a course in teaching me how to live life to its fullest most beautiful, optimal potential. We are all recovering from something, and the really cool thing is that when we “Set Our Best Self Free”; we become part of the greater change. When we step into our best selves and show up in life with more compassion and understanding, we are doing our part. The ripple of wellness has begun. It starts at home and it starts with you. Because YOU are worth it.