For me, recovery has been a process of reclamation of my true self. It’s been about growth, evolution, and healing, but it’s also been about unlearning what I once believed as true. There are so many times I bulldozed through life not listening to my own intuition. I didn’t identify the truths that guided me, but instead listened to the truths that guided our society and culture, as well as my own addictive behaviors. I had to unlearn so many of the toxic habits I had developed and I had to create an unshakable faith in my own abilities to heal and recover. The following is a list of seven truths I learned in my own recovery from love addiction and drug addiction.
- Being busy is not a badge of honor. Recovery taught me that it does not matter how slow you go: forward is forward. I used to believe that life was a race. I had to get ahead and so I did everything in my power to stay busy. I even got the word ambition tattooed on my ass at 16, because ambition used to be my guiding word. I didn’t slow down enough to enjoy the present moment. I always had to go, go, go. My thoughts revolved around the future and I never lived in the now. Today, I slow down. I take care of myself. I tell my body and my soul I love her. I show her this not just in words, but in action. And that action, usually revolves around slowing down and taking much needed breaks.
- Self-love is the greatest middle finger of all time. If I was in a relationship and someone broke my heart; I didn’t take the time to love myself. Instead, I found another person who could love me. I escaped the idea of self-love, believing that another person could love me enough to take over the responsibility of loving myself. Being a serial monogamist and never being alone didn’t give me the chance to properly grow. It didn’t allow me to feel real loneliness. My pain was deep, but it was also artificial because I never got in touch with my core wounds. When I hurt today, and I allow myself to feel and uncover the core reasons for this pain, I learn to love all of me, even the parts that no one claps for. In loving my light and my dark; I practice self-love in a way I never had before. I accept my entire authentic self, regardless of how you feel about me.