42 Weeks Sober

Today I am 297 days sober!

42 Weeks Sober

When I used to look at myself, the image I saw was grossly flawed, disfigured and blurred beyond recognition. And no, the alcohol did not contribute to the blurred part (well sort of). I had never considered who I really was before I made the decision to get sober. I had some ideas and beliefs about who I was, but they were temporary. My image and perception of myself was molded and crafted by those in my life. Even though I am a human with the ability to think rationally and conceptualize the abstract, trying to figure out who I am was like an exploration into deep space. It seemed that I would never find anything, forever lost in a deep black hole.

Turns out the light at the end of the tunnel exists. My life exploded like a giant supernova last summer. That giant release of energy ignited within the deepest parts of me a feeling I had not felt in years. I can only describe that feeling as something so profound and powerful that it has carried me through this transitional period from booze to bliss. I woke up. I was no longer being a bystander to the events in my life. I set out on mission to take back what was mine. My relationship to myself was one of those.

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My relationship to myself is not something that has magically been regained on this journey. I am consistently day in and day out putting forth countless amounts of mental energy to sustain and further a positive relationship with myself. I am a confident person. I know what I want and what I couldn’t be bothered by. I believe in my personal power that I can attain anything I put my mind to. That said, I’m also human. A human who has anxieties and insecurities and falls victim to them in moments of weakness. It’s these moments of weakness that set me back, It is also these moments of weakness I find I come closer to my true existence. 

Throughout my life I have been let down. People have not been there for me when I needed them to be. I am still convinced that it is me against the world. It seemed that every time I was rising into a period of prestige a crushing truth broke me. I was beginning to think that who I was would never be good enough. I fell victim to relentless self-loathing and out of crippling fear did the one thing I never thought I would do. I gave myself up. I gave myself up to the world and let others shape who I was and what I should become. I became the experimental subject in which my well-being and desires were never considered. I lost everything. Since I had nothing else to lose, I just kept losing. Despite this ongoing tragedy I never lost faith. I have come to realize that faith was in myself. There has always been only one person that has best served to provide consistent encouragement. That is: Myself.

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Spending my time with countless people who did not give a shit about me gave me real thick skin. I honestly believed this is what saved me from completing breaking down. This thick skin is what protected me and kept me floating along over a sea of personal disaster. Coupled with countless failed relationships (romantic and others) have made me recognize the strongest relationship I have is with myself. I was looking for validation elsewhere when I had it all along. I let people convince me I had no clue or capability for making my own choices. I found my power again in the ability to chose. Sobriety was a choice. Sharing my story was a choice. I will make many more choices and nobody is going to stop me from making them.

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I think about all the years I can never get back from this lack of knowledge. I just hope going forward that it will provide me the opportunity to have many more years in consolation. I am really happy with the progress I have made in rehabilitating my relationship with myself. I can say proudly that I don’t need anyone or anything to justify my worth. I know that I do that all on my own. In my resistance to others I am becoming more and more firm in my stance to be exactly who I want to be. It definitely has been no walk in the park and I don’t foresee it being so. There will be many more tears, outbursts of rage, and self-doubt. In my quest for freedom I have to do everything it takes to make sure that I continue to nurture my independence and define what it means to be me.

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Loving Myself,

Taylor James

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