Maybe you are only an hour in.
Or a day. Or three months.
Maybe you hate what sobriety is feeling like right now.
You aren’t sure if it is for you.
Maybe you are trying to tell yourself that you can’t hack it, because you aren’t strong enough.
Early recovery can be hard.
Really, really hard, and most often in the beginning of changing your life entirely you will wrestle with nauseating amounts of skepticism.
Tonight, I am talking to you.
I can remember fighting within my own mind and feeling defeated having to constantly break up disputes between my heart, my head, and the shadows that seemed to lurk in every corner of my life adamantly reminding me of who I had become and all of the mistakes that I had made.
I know what it feels like to be utterly lost.
Having to feel the pressure and weight of the dissonance I was experiencing between my wanting a brand-new, rebuilt, different life, and also feeling like I had been robbed; stripped of an identity that fit nicely until it began to squeeze the life out of my eyes. I wanted to rid my body of this thing that tightened its powerful grip around the threshold my existence and at the very same time I had no idea how to live any other way.
I have raw fear.
I was a girl who ended up somewhere unfamiliar and frightening, left to wander around not knowing what to take and what to leave behind with questions looming in my mind like, “Who the fuck am I anyway? and “How did I end up here?”
I struggled with disconnect.
I knew my desires didn’t match my impulsive feelings, my habitual go-to’s and cravings didn’t match my true desires for my life and my future, and my overwhelming self-doubt didn’t match up with my dream of one day experiencing real & lasting inner peace.
I wasn’t any match for the anger and wound emotions that I would go through.
I clearly recall raging with anger, crying, and screaming as I did what I could to dig my heels in sobriety.
I didn’t know if I was doing enough of the new stuff.
I saturated my time with as much routine and new information and self-care remedies as I could manage to swallow, hoping that something would stick and I would start to feel as if feeling was a thing that I might actually get on board with.
I remember the struggle of fighting with exhaustion.
I had no idea how to fall asleep. I had zero knowledge of how to quiet or slow my racing thoughts. How would I ever overcome or manage my excruciating anxieties about what the next day might bring. What if it got even harder?
I experienced the agonizing uncertainty of knowing only that I knew nothing definitively.
Aside from being completely certain that I couldn’t go on as I had anymore, I had no idea if I would be able to figure out how to live as a sober person.
For me, there was a 100% chance that nothing was going to change if I wasn’t willing to stick with making any changes, and just for the record I was not good at sticking with things. Follow-through and I were not acquainted.
Drastic life-change takes some time to get used to and specifically regarding substance use disorders, it can FEEL like a lifetime of struggle, like years of planting before we can see any new harvest.
But the small changes that we make every day will begin to make a huge difference in no time.
So tonight, or tomorrow, this week, or this month, if you are feeling unsure of yourself, just keep pushing.
Please don’t believe the lie that you can’t do this, that you are simply too late, that you have fucked up too many things, or that redemption for you, your heart, your soul, your relationships, or your reputation, is not a viable option for you.
You don’t get to decide that.
Because God says that you matter.
You are loved. You are seen. You are important. You matter.
There is not one thing that you have done, said, broken, stolen, smoked, crashed, burned or neglected that can take away God’s grace that is freely offered to your story.
So please don’t give up.