I have searched every bottle of booze, every shot glass, every glass of wine, every bag of weed, every gram of cocaine and many other substances in search of joy, answers, moments of happiness and love, I have to be honest, barring for a short reprieve I have yet to say that any of these have satisfied my true desires. And believe me, when I say, I have fallen into way too many rabbit holes to openly admit, but I know my weaknesses and I know that even though I may fall, I am also strong enough to get up. Not because I stand-alone, on the contrary, I am surrounded by so much love, that getting up is the only option I have, and it is getting easier every time.
Don’t get me wrong, not every glass of wine led to a bender, nor did a single joint, however, this is my truth, I am not always in the right mindset to stop at just one. It’s a sad and honest truth I have come to face about myself. The worst part about giving in to my weakness, it hurts everyone around me. I am prone to making terrible decisions, allowing my vicious tongue to cut the ones I love and I let my bitterness surface and flow out of me. This is not the person I aspire to be.
I must admit though when I was younger (too young to have been caught the way I was) I did meet a lot of profoundly beautiful and wonderful people. People who taught me to respect myself, to stand on what I believed in and people who cared about me. By the grace of God, those people are still a part of who I am today, some are people that have walked long roads with me, some were fleeting, but all had an impact in one way or another. That dreadfully dangerous time in my life also taught me to trust, to love, to enjoy life for what it is and in the aftermath of it all, I discovered myself hiding in the shadows. I also developed a very deep and lasting relationship with my parents and some choice people, and eventually found love in a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. God found me while I was so deeply lost in my pain and emotions, and that, no matter what others may believe, will forever be a part of my living testimony.
I may well have played in adult playgrounds but I was not an adult. I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who knew how vulnerable I was and they never took advantage of that. That was seven years of my “teen/young adult life”, I got sober with the help and love of family, friends and faith. But it does not end there. 18 years after the fact, I am still fighting with my addiction to self-destruction. I know that may seem like a truly backwards thing to say, but I have been sober and hopped right into a bender without much thought, whether it was in the name of celebration, to drown my sorrows, to entertain others or simply to just be high or drunk. The worst part is, my loved ones suffer as a result and I beat myself up about this, and guess where that gets me? Yip, you guessed it, I fall down the rabbit hole all over again.
Because I acknowledge this about myself, I am getting better at staying on the wagon as opposed to jumping off of it and destroying the beauty of the life I have been so tremendously blessed with. Yes, I reminisce on the years gone by, but not the destructive part of it. The good that came of it, the memories that are worth holding on to, the goodness that came of a potentially destructive time in my life. Why you may ask? Well, believe it or not, not everything during that time was bad. So much good came out of all of it. So much love, joy, laughter, dancing, celebration, self-awareness, friendships, and lessons. Lessons I hope I can use to help others. Lessons I hope will be a reminder of how strong I truly am.
The years gone by have been kinder to me even though I must admit, I have yet to understand how I deserve it all. Love found its way into my heart and it has surrounded me and flows freely from my soul into everyone around me. Laughter is something I am privileged enough to experience and share with others. Wisdom was built on those broken pieces of who I was and I do my utmost to be mindful of what I say and do, not only to myself but to others. I have come to realise that forgiveness of others releases you from the weight it bears. I have learnt that not forgiving myself is the easiest way to fall into traps set by my weakness. I have found value in family relationships and friendships with like-minded people. And most importantly, I have a relationship with God, He never took His eyes off of me no matter how far I ran and hid from Him.
As I navigate this path, I am blessed to not walk alone, I am surrounded by people to love and who love me. I have faith in myself because there are people who believe in me, I can stand up because there is every reason to. What are my motives? I choose my family over my desires to rather lose myself in short-term reprieves. I know that I am not capable of making sound decisions in an unsober state. I know how hurtful my words can be. I know my weakness and I can identify what my triggers are. I choose to fight every day, no matter how many times I fall, I know I must get up, I must choose to be better every day. I make better choices, for myself, my husband, our marriage, our children, our lives, our family and friends, our futures. We are all deserving of the best I have to offer and I receive their best (and on some days their worst) because I choose to love them as well as myself.
I am not sharing this to blow my own horn, or to have some sort of pity party, no, on the contrary, I am sharing this because I want you to know, that if you are struggling with the same or any kind of weakness, you are not alone. I am also sharing this so that people can understand I am far from perfect but I work hard every day to be better. I am sharing this so those who stand in judgement can understand that I am not ashamed of what I fight every day to be better, stronger and wiser, this is a part of my life and I chose to acknowledge it and work at it instead of letting it break me.
P.S Theme song for the day: Keep Pushing On – A song that I loved to dance to and still brings me joy…
Photo Credit: Lesonne Botha – The Kaalvoet Photographer https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210535736222566&set=pb.1620589384.-2207520000.1567962609.&type=3&theater