Here we are, heading into the last week of January. For those who are new to sobriety, I am curious to know what you’ve learned this month. And for those who are maintaining longer-term sobriety, how do you keep your sobriety fresh? We will explore this in my end-of-the-month blog, but first…
In my last post, I talked about my decision to choose a “word of the month” and how this better aligns with my values. My word for January is emerge. In many ways, 2022 felt like a complete turn inward, a turn away from the world and toward my inner child. Last year brought up many issues that I never even knew were simmering below the surface. I was forced to face hard things, and to show up in ways I’ve never had to show up before, at least not in sobriety. My health was front and center as my husband and I navigated the murky waters of life after a miscarriage. A series of unfortunate events left me with complete mistrust of the healthcare system. The further we traveled the path into the unknown, the more cocooned I became.
We build cocoons to protect ourselves from being hurt. It makes sense. Why would we willingly continue to expose ourselves to things that are hurting us? But the cocoon also shelters us from the beauty of the human experience. There wasn’t a lot of beauty coming through in the first eight months of last year. I was staying afloat (barely), and doing the minimum, which at times felt like a total failure. It brought me back to my days as a single parent in active addiction. That feeling of being a shell of a human; one who is existing, not LIVING. Thankfully I wasn’t battling substance abuse this time around, so I was able to lean into my sobriety toolkit for help. I kept my morning routine the same with exercise, meditation, and reading. I continued to nourish my body with healthy foods, and through trial and error, I discovered vitamins and supplements that helped bring my body back into balance. I finally connected with a therapist who suits my needs, and we started doing Internal Family Systems (IFS) work together.
In August of 2022, I had surgery to help correct some of the reproductive issues I had been facing since the miscarriage. The surgery was a success and my husband and I were able to continue with our plans of expanding our family. Today I am thirteen weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby. I feel like the fog is finally lifting, and I’m starting to emerge from my cocoon. There were so many days last year when I felt like I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt like a failure for “surviving” and not “thriving”. I’ve come to realize that life is about seasons. In some seasons you’re a beautiful, colorful butterfly, and in other seasons you’re a tightly wrapped cocoon. We can’t predict which season will come next, but what we can do is stay steady in our trust in the process. Have faith that the universe works in a cyclical nature. Whatever hardships you are facing now, sobriety-related or otherwise, I promise you they will not last forever. Having a consistent routine, a strong support network, and a gentle approach to self-love, will help carry you through the tough times.
Emerge is the most perfect word for this month. I am finally able to move on with life in a way that only makes sense because of how last year unfolded. I had to go through all of those experiences to bring me to where I am today. I am already looking toward February with an open heart, inviting my next word to find me. I invite you to join me on an exploration of twelve words in 2023!
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