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I’m learning what it means to be alive. Truly alive.
Personal responsibility is something that I value tremendously in myself, as well as in every relationship in my life. I don’t connect very well with those who don’t hold themselves accountable for their behavior.
So, it makes sense that I haven’t even connected with myself in the past, due to not taking responsibility for my own actions. It is a dark path, being disconnected from oneself. I’ve never felt more lonely.
My mind exploded one day. All of a sudden, it just occurred to me that I might not always be telling myself the truth about myself. I realized that I could actually lie to myself, and believe myself. It sounds like such a simple, obvious concept when typed out like this, but at the time it completely rocked my world. It made me question everything I ever believed about myself, and how I operated in the world with other people.
I learned that having a negative or otherwise uncomfortable emotion or feeling didn’t mean that anything externally should be changed to alleviate the discomfort. Sometimes, that was the case. Not always though, and not nearly as often as I used to think.
Sometimes, it’s ok to just feel like shit. It’s ok to sit in the pain, and feel the pain, and not know what to do about it except cry. And cry. And cry some more.
If I couldn’t cry, I could write or just breathe. I didn’t have to numb anything. I didn’t have to run. I didn’t have to force myself on the circumstances, trying to control what was outside of my control. What I needed to do was stop lying to myself, stop running from pain, and let it course through me with all of its fury and beauty.
I learned that when I finally let myself cry like I had never truly cried before, and do that as often as needed, I could also laugh like I had never laughed before in my life.
When I could allow myself to feel the depth of the pain without despair or seeking to numb, I could also allow myself to feel the height of joy without fear or trepidation.
I relate to these lyrics, from Sia’s song Alive:
I have made every single mistake
That you could ever possibly make
I took and I took and I took what you gave
But you never noticed that I was in pain
I knew what I wanted; I went out and got it
Did all the things that you said that I wouldn’t
I told you that I would never be forgotten
And all in spite of you
And I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing. I’m just sitting here writing, and I am still breathing. I thought I would die at one point, and yet here I am. Praise God.
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Hi! I'm Ashley, and my sobriety date is May 6, 2015. I write to share my experience, strength, and hope in recovery. On any given day, you can find me developing websites, writing, or chauffeuring kids around. Read my story...
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