Accepting who I was now that I am who I am
Updated: Dec 11, 2018
This past year has been one of complete self-realization. I used to hear people say “Giving up alcohol is the easy part, it’s what comes next that’s the hard part.” They weren’t fucking joking.
The first few months after giving up alcohol were that of release – releasing the poison from my body, spirit and mind. The next few months were that of pride – I did it. I quit drinking. And I’m feeling gooood. The tail end months of my year alcohol free have become quite intense to say the least - Let me explain why.
I need more. I crave more. I have room for more. Alcohol took up so much of my life. My time with work, friends, family, real connections and most critically, myself. I had been drinking to self-medicate for so long, without even realizing it. I had been stuffing down my feelings and emotions and traumas for years, and everything started to bubble up. But I wasn’t scared. I was anxious and nervous and excited. But I wasn’t scared. Why? Because I was finally able to handle finding out why I drank as a form of self-medication for so long. See, when I was drinking, I wasn’t able to handle those feelings and emotions. Because I was drinking. Once I let go of that, processing all those elements became much easier to do.
But there was something major that I wasn’t doing in my healing. Something I came to realize only recently after attending a program at The Haven called “Come Alive” - I was running away from the girl who used to drink. I pushed her away for almost the entire year I quit drinking. I didn’t want to associate myself with her. I wanted to be new Kat. Kat who didn’t have to drink and party. Problem was, I never thanked that girl who drank. I never thanked her for protecting me for years from whatever it was at the time I needed protecting from. For drinking as a way to cope with what was going I’m inside of me. For saving my life. Instead, I wanted to erase all that she’d done for me. That was so very misguided. Drinking isn’t in a category of good or bad – “You’re a bad person if you drink”. No you aren’t. You are just hurting and it’s the only way you know how to deal with it. And that’s ok. (So long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process).
Now I am on a path to accept who I was for those years I was drinking, and more so for the girl who was especially hurting and self-medicating that last year I was drinking. It’s not easy; I still struggle with finding acceptance with it. But I ultimately know it was for my safety and well being, and so I gain a little more acceptance and love all the time for that girl and it helps with my compassion for the woman I am becoming today.
Moral of my story is – Become Aware of that girl who was there by your side for most of your adult life. Acknowledge that girl who was there trying to save your ass the best way she knew how. And Accept who she was and thank her for all of her help. As a very good friend would say – Simple. Not Easy. – xo K