This feels like the final frontier. But I’ve heard myself say that before.
The last obstacle standing between me and freedom.
Which of course it isn’t. The part of my mind that is seeing happiness “out there” is having a field day.
So I am trying to remain at home, connected to the moment, and also hold within that space the truth, which is rather unpalatable, but nonetheless the truth.
I nailed my addiction to alcohol. Yay me. And eventually to cigarettes. Excellent. Also to weed. Well done! But there’s something lingering in my habit body that just isn’t resolving itself. Something I haven't admitted to myself, until now. It’s food.
I need to resolve my unhealthy relationship with food. The thing is I have been trying to, with no success. It’s like I’m in that shameful, difficult part of the process, where all I can honestly say is this is not right, this is an ongoing issue for me and I feel off-center. Sometimes I don’t care, but then other times I do. It’s complicated.
It feels embarrassing, something I would rather keep to myself. And have done up until now. So what the hell you may ask. Why are you writing about it now, in public?
It’s an act of solidarity, to all women who suffer addictions, loss of control over a substance, a behavior. This is me too. The most destructive ones I have laid to rest but the echo still remains in my relationship to food.
I feel so fired up about the raw truth women are sharing with me in my work, about how frigging hard it is for them with alcohol, right now. I need to reciprocate that level of honesty. Their stories and testimonies about their struggle have given me the push to expose my struggle, now, as it’s happening, rather than as a done and dusted success story.
I know from my journey of healing my relationship with alcohol that shame is a killer. I carried that baby around for decades. It eroded my self-worth and my self-confidence.
Shame increased my isolation, my depression, my fear, my hopelessness. The only thing it seemed to increase was my sense of self-loathing. And I see it all the time, in the conversations around alcohol. Being out of control somehow makes us feel small and weak, and scared. When nobody talks about this, we feel ashamed on top of everything. It makes healing and recovery hard.
The same thing is rising for me now in relation to food. Eeek. I just said it. It doesn’t feel like a great thing to admit to. Yet there it is. My weakness, my underdeveloped self. Exposed. By me because I now know that healing requires light, space, love, and acceptance. When something is shoved in a box in the back of the cupboard there will be no growth, no change, no healing.
There is such a vulnerability that arises in admitting this. Again, not a pleasant feeling. However, as I step up to work with women facing their difficulties with alcohol, it feels like the only authentic thing to do. This is me, on the same journey but just in a slightly different space.
It’s so easy to be public about these things after they are sorted. To say yep, that was me but I overcame it. It’s not so hard to admit to being broken, having experienced a challenge, when we can conclude with a happy ending. A success story.
It is so much easier to be public with an “ experts’ ‘ hat on. To enter the arena with the trophy of “here was my challenge, and here is how I overcame it.” There’s so much safety in that. It’s not vulnerable. It’s the prize, the outcome, the success. It’s safe. I'm not dishing safe, but I am challenging it as the slow path to transformation.
Sometimes we have to let go of the rails and step out to where it feels scary, breathe, and learn how to feel safe in new territory.
Our successes are important to share, we can offer hope and inspiration to each other that way. That is one way we can help each other for sure. But in my case it also feels slightly unreal, yes I have nailed that bit of my struggle, yet there are other aspects of me that are still a work in progress. I feel that needs to be said too. To smash this idea of the “perfect” person, the woman who has it all together on every level in all aspects of her life. We aren’t that. We are a bit messy somewhere, most of the time. Let’s just be real about that and get on with loving and accepting ourselves and each other.