****Written at the beginning of September 2016****
I want to talk about addiction. Not likely what you consider to be the general idea of addiction.
For the last two years I’ve told people I’ve been in recovery and many will ask if I’ve been in rehab. I answer “yes, but not likely the way you think.”
I’ve had many addictions over the years. as a human, I think it’s part of our condition to latch onto something that makes us feel good. Whether it’s coffee, chocolate, sex, alcohol, self-medicating, or work, it’s all addiction.
I’d never thought of the fact that I’d also been addicted to feeling a certain way.
My mentor Joseph Ghabi has often mentioned that I’m too comfortable in the discomfort, meaning that I’ve been conditioned or ‘programmed’ to feel and act a certain way based on experiences in my life, regardless of whether they were healthy or not.
It’s been just about a decade since a cancer diagnosis that threw me off my trajectory as a young 29 year old, and I’ve just recognized that I’m almost nearing the point where I’ve reclaimed my body since treatment knocked the life out of me. I didn’t recognize that after my illness, that I couldn’t treat my body or mind the same way again. I continued to push and over three and half years ago, landed a position in a job that I’d thought I’d wanted. I hadn’t fully healed from my experience yet, so throwing myself into that was like burying myself in a dungeon, and a vortex that I completely lost who I thought I was.
Up until a few months ago, the darkness had persisted more than I would’ve liked, though I never let up with persisiting to work through all the pieces that had been broken off and woven into a web of denial and angst.
Not wanting to let go of anything or knowing how to, I allowed myself to be labeled as depressed, anxious and burnt out. Even a ‘cancer survivor’ created walls around me.
I’ve learned that in many ways, my inability to express my emotions and repressing feelings, psychosomatically manifested itself into the variety of symptoms and illnesses I’ve had over the years. A very tough pill to swallow in terms of taking ownership and responsibility for my life – good and bad.
This 10 year clear landmark has left me feeling uncertain and out of place, not wanting to discuss much or celebrate and today I’ve understood why.
Through a lot of hard work with a variety of wellness and holistic practitioners, I’ve let go of a lot of what’s held me back from being the best version of myself. Through spiritual work and connection to myself and pieces of my spirit that have in the past been scattered through trauma, I’ve been reconnecting and healing, hence the ‘in recovery.’
I’ve realized that the anxiety I feel at this 10 year mark is because I’m afraid of letting go of what’s left of feeling victimized and afraid to move forward in my strength and increased capability. I’ve been comfortable in the discomfort, but I now realize how freaking amazing it feels to be comfortable in the comfort and peace I’ve worked so hard towards. I’m not 100% there yet, but awareness is always key and I have loads of that.