I ask myself honestly: What does it mean to be where I am? This is the most important thing I can possibly write about, and it does not include being successful or achieving my goals. Nor does it highlight my ability to quit all drugs and alcohol, which I had truly strived for.
Not to say that the periods of abstinence did not occur, but instead of creating greater self-love, I weighed my soul’s worth against longevity of sobriety as a means to personal value.
I’m sharing my failure at sobriety as a way to motivate radical self-love and inspiration. I want people to feel naturally lit. I am brutally honest these days in sharing who I am, and putting myself on a receptive platform for mutual love, respect, and potential understanding. I see the world share itself on social media: Instagram posts with generic scenarios of bronzed bodies, smiley cliches, and a “yet again another perfect day in paradise” setting. On Facebook, I get a sense of more frivolous fun and meaningless entertainment, as well as memes about how women just “need a real man to appreciate her” written by some anonymous person.
I have taken it upon myself to give up striving to meet society’s norm of success and dub myself successful at being “me,” fully as I am. Thinking of my life as a private user, I’ve experienced a lot of debilitating anxiety, shame, and guilt. I was all around much more pathetic in my stance on life, especially being a mother. Hiding who I was nearly destroyed me. I never gave myself a chance to have real relationships, just constructed ones.
As for those close to me, my mother often lamented, “I pray for the day you give up alcohol. When do you plan to stop?” My ex-boyfriend would say, “I hope you get all the love you deserve in the future to come your way—maybe you will figure out happiness.” I heard in these moments of anguish and worry that they were waiting for me to stop my use, that I had somehow hijacked the woman who is me—and only through sobriety would I set her free.
Hate to break it to everyone waiting with bated breath but…I am really me right now!
I want those missing this point and getting hung up on addiction to take an honest and thorough look at their socially acceptable addictions, such as working 12-hour days 7 days a week.
I remember my twelfth birthday, when I slept on the couch in the hope of catching my mom before her shift in the labor rooms. I awoke to the cold pink plastic diary I had desired all year and bawled my eyes out because of the loneliness.
What if today is all I get with you? Will you “tsk tsk” me as I am laid to rest and discuss among yourself at what a promising young woman I was, but it’s such a shame I lost my way? Perhaps you will see me as just someone who suffered greatly. But I refute it. I am as I am and ask for no more future blessings of love and happiness—because who I am right now is worthy of all of that without having to change a thing. My current state is lovable. I see stupidity in those righteous minds who pride themselves on living right.
To hell with right and wrong. I remove myself from such trappings. Still in it, I am stilling it. Stilling it like the 52nd hexagram of the I Ching: “Stilling is also a mode of change. Although we think of change as movement, stillness is the necessary opposite of movement. When outer movement halts, inner movement is released.” (from The Living I Ching, translated by Deng Ming-Dao)
I am stilling the mad dash to be good and perfect. This urge created a bulimic tendency for years and self-implosions erupting like clockwork as I swung from one end to the other like a pendulum.
I still the cold prodding, calculated curiosity, and sterile concern of worry—with me under that microscope being dissected by assumptions under the guise of love and what is best for me.
Don’t lie to me.
Feel your uprising call to act as a call to self, not a call to save that which is perfect and whole (me). When you speak in the same tongue as society, I am robbed of my dignity to be heard. You win, and I lose the ability to blossom in my self-realized lotus truth.
I am here. This is me, and I am changing. What keeps you from recognizing me? I now pull back my inner movement, made outer. Your journey is beautiful, too, so please share the gift of who you are so we can be together as naked as the day we entered and were nurtured, never having known the concept of clothes to begin with. Let’s love each other and shed tears of healing. Look at me now as I look at you, with receptivity to the liberation of living our true names.