“Once I went into recovery and began to heal, I realized that I am the only person I am responsible for, and I cannot control what others may think or approve of in my choices. Whatever they “thought” about me was about them, and in fact, issues they themselves needed to resolve. When others are judging us, it is the mirror that we hold up to them where they see themselves, and it reveals their own reflection. It is where one either sees their truth and makes a decision to create change, or they back away in fear, and live in a false sense of security in an unhealthy comfort zone.
I began to go to therapy, and to take the time to explore myself in-depth. I wanted to understand my addiction, release the trauma through self-discovery, and get well so that I could live my best life. I began to heal my trauma through talk therapy and my willingness to try a multitude of natural and organic solutions as I began a holistic health lifestyle. I felt “reborn” as I discovered and began to practice a completely new way of life. To be honest, I feel as if I experienced a spiritual awakening, and I no longer cared what anyone else thought. My spiritual awakening was getting off drugs, connecting to myself, connecting deeply to the Universe/God/Spirit, being willing to explore and work through all of my trauma, and to explore new and healthy lifestyle changes that would be sustainable, always with my faith as the foundation. I know that I am always doing the right thing for myself, and for those around me, and that brings me peace, and self-satisfaction, and humbling pride. I noticed that as I began to acquire coping skills and was willing to take risks, it was only the anticipation of the action that was the scariest, and once I faced the fear head on and completed a task, there was a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Even if I didn’t get it right, I used it as a learning tool. I knew I could possibly try it again in the future, or I could just let it go if I didn’t feel it would serve me.
My greatest fear was setting boundaries with anyone. I used to be a people pleaser, and would never say “No.” I would fear that others would get mad at me, that others would no longer like me or want to remain my friend or want to spend time with me. Even with family members who were clearly disrespecting my kindness and my willingness to help, I would continuously allow their behavior to control me where I found myself enveloped in their unhealthy and selfish web of dysfunction. I allowed it to continue because I felt that the more I did, the more I would be loved. On my wellness journey, I have been enlightened. The truth is, the more I did for others that went unappreciated and unnoticed, the more drained and exhausted and resentful I felt. And none of it enhanced my own life. There was never any reciprocity or gratitude. The more I did, the more I was asked to do, and with more frequent and irrational demands on my time and energy.
I began to set healthy and firm boundaries and I say, “No,” whenever I feel I would be overextending myself or whenever I feel whatever it is I am being asked will not serve me. I practice self-care first. If something that I am being asked to do is going to jeopardize my wellness, the answer is “no.” No regrets. No apologies. Those who are coming from a good and loving place support and respect my boundaries, and applaud my healthy new lifestyle.”