Today I am 6 Months Sober!
Half a year has gone by since making the most important decision in taking back my life from an unforgiving, desolate, and dark place. An illustrious sanctuary revered by all those who sought out an escape from the harsh, debilitating reality. Only to venture to far into this paradise and fall into the lagoon colored maroon like dark red wine. Sinking deeper and deeper until drowned. The chance of resuscitation slim. By the grace of the universe I got my breath back, retraced my footsteps, and settled back in. No longer scared having seen rock bottom, I could only go up.
Looking back over the past 6 months I am nothing but proud and full of pride for achieving what I have in relation to my goals of sobriety. However with every victory and passing month the level of excitement just never seemed to change. Remaining at a stable and constant level. Sometimes even decreasing. I began to wonder why this was. Have I not done enough? Are my efforts menial to scope of what I could achieve? Was this foreshadowing to an event that could end it all? After throughly thinking through these questions this week I found my answer. NO. Not even a chance. Well then what was it then? Everything is going well and I’m happier than ever. Then it came to me like just like an angel would in a dream. The insight shone bright through the windows and shook an epiphany within me. The answer was me. I was the cause of this emotional stagnation. To preoccupied by other negative feelings I could not fully embrace the positive achievements attained through my disciplined efforts.
I recently came across a TED talk called Honest Liars – The Psychology of Self-Deception given by Cortney Warren. She explains that we lie to ourselves about every little aspect of our lives to hide the things about us we don’t want the world to see and know. We have this inherent desire to maintain an acceptable image of ourselves by dismissing all of our insecurities through a process of projecting, rationalizing, and accepting the truths of the world taught to us. So when we all say “I am my own worst enemy,” guess what? We are. From our youth until the day we die we consistently set ourselves up to be deceived by our hyper-sensitive ego. It’s not me against the world. It’s me against myself. We deceive ourselves on a daily basis in order to avoid confronting what we dislike about ourselves and the negative experiences of our past. So that raises the question, what does being honest with ourselves look like? I think I have discovered the answer.
“Who are you Taylor?” I would ask myself. “What do you want out of your life? Are you truly happy?” I can say now, I had no fucking clue what the answers were to these questions and it scared me shitless. In a panic that I had failed my life purpose at 17, I vowed to regroup and get back on track. Then I was introduced to my good friend (friends no more) Jack Daniels. For years I lied to myself and used alcohol and narcotics to lessen the existential pain that was occurring in my mind. I knew what I was doing was bad and I knew I was consistently facing the consequences. Still I could not find the courage to face the truth. So, I continued on in my foolish attempt to drink some sense into myself. The more I indulged in Jack, the more I came to accept his wisdom. His power was hypnotic and he had me wrapped around his hollow, beautiful glass bottleneck. He filled my head with the a plethora of lies and kept me hooked. Until finally, I said bye bitch. I had enough.
Here’s the answer: I sobered up. Sobering up forced me to face all the lies and all the negative aspects of my life I sought to ignore. In this prolonged coherent head space I had to be honest with myself. I had to accept the consequences of my actions. I had to let my guard down and be vulnerable. There was no option to pretend anymore. In the early times of withdrawals and extreme emotions I had to ask myself in each of these moments: What does this say about myself as a person? A powerful question that instilled a mindfulness within me that I continue to grow and nurture as I progress forward into the next chapters. It’s a question I still continue to ask and answer. Sobriety has returned to me my acute sense of self-awareness and revitalized my burning intuition. What you see now is what you get and that is that. I have no reason to hide anymore. I have no reason to feel like I have to beat myself up for being a human. Like all of us I was just another victim of self-deception. However, I am a victim no longer. In my hands I hold the power. The power to be better than my unconscious oppressor, the hidden deceiver.
After this month of deep assessment I am standing taller than ever. The knowledge I have gained thus far and the lessons I have learned in the last month have only made me stronger. I have come to understand that sometimes the biggest wounds to your soul are the ones you inflict within yourself. I believe that being honest with myself will bring me the most personal power. Most importantly I need to stop lying to myself and start fulfilling myself. How I will achieve that is still unknown, but I am confident in my abilities to attain this fulfillment with all the proper tools in my belt. This is something we all must do to have a bright and healthy future. Say no to the things that will break you down and yes to the things that will build you up. Take pride in the fact that you are a diamond in the rough.
Never Give Up.
Let The Truth Unfold: