You wanted more. More than I could give. More than I could handle and a life that I can’t live.You Wanted More – Tonic
The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride to say the least. The loss of my Uncle, reaching milestones in school, dealing with the life-altering insanity of the coronavirus (and ignoring all of the ridiculous posts of surviving quarantine by stocking up on alcohol), it’s been a crazy mess to say the least. Life teaches us to grow and change in some interesting ways. After every dark moment comes a beautiful gift of light. In the past few months, I have felt that life has tried to break me. I couldn’t understand what possible gift I was supposed to take away from all the pain.
I have been doing a tremendous amount of soul searching and I am so grateful to be going into a career where it’s very foundation is built upon cultivating awareness and embarking on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
While I’ve been “away” from my blog for a while, I have been actively working on my sobriety and personal growth. I needed some time, a break, and some space for my own mental health. I needed to feel inspired again before I started writing again.
In the midst of chaos, I have been searching for inner peace. My Uncle dying was the catalyst that truly shook me and caused my world to be flipped completely upside down. And within this immense loss, there are small gifts. To see them clearly means to have a clear body-mind-spirit. And to have that sense of clarity means continuing my sobriety.
Ever since I lost my Uncle, I’ve had this feeling inside me, this power that I can’t quite describe. It’s an intense feeling of true determination and will power to continue to find meaning in my life and to grow in ways that never occured to me before. My sobriety has allowed me to obtain immense growth but it’s not enough. I want more. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. I want to reach new heights and continue to grow within all levels body-mind-spirit.
Body: I’ve been lucky enough to have never had a problem with weight growing up. I never even thought about my weight or how I looked because I couldn’t gain weight if I tried (literally!). Six months after turning 20 years old, I went from 108lbs to 165lbs in about a year as the result of medication. Then when I turned 21, my drinking really increased. For another year or two, I barely looked in the mirror. I was at an extremely low point physically, mentally, emotionally, and without any sense of self. I decided to kick the medications, go on Weight Watchers, and hit the gym. In doing so, I lost weight despite my continued drinking and by the time I moved home a month before my 24th birthday, I was down to 130lbs.
Since that time, my weight fluctuated as a result of alcohol, my second heaviest being in 2017, at 155lbs. Since I quit drinking, I’ve stayed around 130lbs without doing anything other than eliminating alcohol. Yet, I’ve still been frustrated by my weight for a long time and I’ve struggled with a negative relationship towards food. I’ve also been complacent. That is until about a week or so into February. I decided to follow a workout program geared towards women. Within the program, there are home and gym workouts, information on how food affects different body types, along with recipes, a private support group, and many other resources. Now, I paid money for this program and my first thought was “you just wasted your money, you will never use this” and my next thought was “screw it, I need to do this for myself.”
I never really worked out before except during the Weight Watchers phase but I never stuck with it; I always gave up. I hated it to be honest. But this time around is different. When I started this program in February, I felt this incredible drive that I had never felt before. And while I’ve had a few sets back since the beginning, I am not quitting. I continue to get back on track and I’m making a genuine lifestyle change. I am going to put in the hard work so that I can be proud of my body and of myself again. And to do that means to stay committed to better eating, consistent workouts, and staying sober.
Mind: Working out is not only helping me physically, but mentally too. It helps clear my mind and improves my mood. While I’ve been lax on diligent meditation practice, I have been taking moments throughout the day to simply focus on my breath and clearing the chatter in my head. I’m continuing therapy and most importantly, I’m staying sober which we all know leads to the Palace of Mental Clarity! But again, I need more. So, for about three weeks, I’ve been going to private Health and Wellness coaching sessions. I mentioned before that I’m planning on pursuing Health and Wellness Coaching in addition to acupuncture but the only way to know if it’s something I want to consider is to try it first hand. And let me tell you, it is truly something I didn’t even know I needed until I did it.
I’ve had a few sessions so far and already I am making tremendous progress. Each week, I discuss my goals (both short and long term), potential barriers, and each week my coach gives me “challenges” that help me reach those goals. Coaching sessions are about self-empowerment. You are figuring out what you need and want with the guidance of a coach who puts it all in your hands. They don’t tell you what to do, or how to do it and they don’t give you advice. They ask you questions that lead you to your own realizations about your goals and then give you challenges to help you reach those goals.
For example, my challenges have been around decision making, improving my self talk, and not pushing my own needs or feelings aside over others. The self talk challenge has been especially eye opening because my struggles with it stem from my drinking. When I drank, I said absolutely horrible things to myself. I would look in the mirror and tear myself apart because inside I genuinely didn’t like myself. Since getting sober, I can say with 100% certainty, that I truly like who I am now. But that negative self talk still lingers. It’s like trying to break a bad habit. So, with the help of my coach, my challenge for the week was to pay attention to my negative self talk. With every negative comment I make to myself, immediately counteract it with a positive one. Reinforcing and strengthening my neural pathways one positive comment at a time!
Spirit: This level of growth is one that I am most shocked and intrigued by as I am truly experiencing a spiritual awakening. I have never been a religious or spiritual person. But since losing my Uncle, I have a desire to connect with Nature and the Universe in a more profound way. I don’t believe in a God and organized religion is not for me. But I have been intrigued by Buddhism over the years. I have a collection of buddhas in my room and have always felt Buddhist practices to be pure, compassionate, and with honest intention. It is such a genuine practice that emphasizes self-cultivation and inner peace. Honestly, it’s a beautiful spiritual practice that places no requirement to believe in a God, promotes seeking enlightenment that is attainable for anyone, and its basic principles are rooted in honesty, respect, understanding, compassion, and mindfulness. Plus, they encourage abstinence from mind altering substances including drugs and alcohol so as to maintain clarity of the mind (and what have I been repeating to you about sobriety and the insane levels of clarity I’ve been reaching!). It’s a practice that I truly feel I resonate with on a deeper level. I’ve been doing a lot of research, I reached out to a friend who is a Buddhist, and this journey is one that I am exceptionally excited about.
I feel it’s important to always pursue self-growth. When I was drinking, I had no desire to change or grow; I became stagnant, stuck, and static. I was merely existing. My world was jaded. Now, I crave self discovery and growth. It’s my new addiction. It fills my world with excitment and endless possibilities.
The scary thing about growth and change is how it affects the relationships around you. It shows you who is willing, encouraging, accepting, and who is not. It shows you whose going to stand by your side and grow with you and who will be left behind. And the thing is, you can’t let anyone hold you back. I was held back for so long by previous relationships, by past friendships, and even by certain family relationships. But I found that when I started growing and changing, the true people in my life stuck around and that’s what matters to me. Be with people and around people who will never stop encouraging you to grow and change.
Never stop wanting more for yourself because you deserve it.