How alcohol threw my life out of alignment (and my wakeup call from the universe!)
Updated: Dec 16, 2019
We don't have to be perfect. Humans are designed to be imperfect.
At the height of my drinking I was physically abusive towards others, had the cops called on me multiple times, destroyed my relationships, drained my finances, avoided my family, abandoned my faith in God etc. etc. I was the epitome of imperfect. Or as some like to call it a "hot ass mess". At the beginning of my sobriety I was so ashamed of these things. I didn't want to face them, I didn't want to talk about them, I was so embarrassed and I didn't want anybody to know. But as I worked through all of the guilt and the shame that I had experienced from the years of this behavior, I slowly became more comfortable sharing bits and pieces of my story with others. Each time I did this, I was able to connect with at least one new person who was experiencing the same thing.
This is part of the beauty of sobriety. This is a part that I really love. I've never believed in being "perfect" or living a "perfect" life because I know enough to know that that doesn't really exist. Sobriety gave me the opportunity to be a part of a community who loves and embraces one another for their imperfections. We don't have to hide the dark parts of ourselves from one another, instead, we rejoice in the opportunity to be our true authentic selves.
I remember in the days leading up to my decision to become sober, a moment that showed me what happens when we aren't living our lives in alignment. When we are living a life on the outside, that doesn't match how we feel on the inside.
I had been trying to get sober for so long and kept failing, that I finally came to a point where I had accepted that this was going to be my life forever. I gave in and surrendered to alcohol and said to myself "this is it". I told myself "I am unable to take control of my life, alcohol is too powerful, my friendships, my relationships and my life revolve around alcohol, there is no getting away from it." I lived with this mindset for a couple of months. I put on my pretty face, went to the gym, put on a smile, dressed nice, looked nice, posted my gym pics and camping pics online, I pretended and I just accepted that this was the way it was going to be. From the outside I looked like I had it all together. On the inside, I was suffering. I was living my life so out of alignment. The outside did not match the inside. When the outside does not match the inside, we are living inauthentically and ultimately not being our true selves and not living our purpose. This is not a sustainable way of living.
I relate this to people who hate their jobs. If you hate your job, but just accept that that's just the way life is and you just have to suck it up and pretend to be happy about it, you will ultimately live an unfulfilled and deeply unhappy. Your job isn't in alignment with your values and your purpose.
I also relate this to people who are in relationships that aren't helping them grow or are in relationships that aren't in alignment with who they are authentically trying to be. This was me before I got sober. I was in a relationship that revolved around alcohol. I was with a partner who didn't support my sobriety, and ultimately I was in a relationship that wasn't in alignment with my true self.
There are many more examples of living a life not in alignment with your true self:
1. Not following your intuition and true calling.
2. Not expressing your own truth.
3. Making important decisions just to please others.
4. Enabling toxic relationships and drama.
I remember waking up one morning, hungover as hell (honestly, probably still drunk), needing to get up and get ready for work. I remember laying there in bed with the thought of wanting to run away. Wanting to escape from it all. I knew I wasn't living the life I was meant to be living but I didn't know how to get away. I had built a life with somebody who I had dated for 3 years and at this point his family was my family. I knew I would lose them if I got sober. I had all of these "friends" who I knew I would lose if I got sober. My life as I knew I would completely change if I got sober. This is what held me back for so long. I didn't want my life to change so drastically. I was so scared.
I laid there in bed imagining the life that was meant for me. I imagined a life where alcohol didn't control me. I imagined a life where the only people I surrounded myself with were people who supported my sobriety. I imagined a life where my freedom was in my control.
As I thought about these things, my heart began racing. Before I knew it I was in a full blown panic attack. The ones that have you gasping for air, weezing and wondering if you'll go unconscious. I had a cat at the time and she walked past my head as I laid in fetal position rubbing her body against me. I could tell she was scared and knew that I was in pain. This panic attack lasted or about 15-20 minutes. This was the longest one I had ever experienced. Once I was able to gain control of my thoughts and of my breath, my body finally unclenched, my muscles relaxed and my entire body went limp. It felt like the weight of the world had lifted from me. Whatever burden, or fear I was feeling was suddenly gone. It was in that moment that I realized that terrifying panic attack was a wake up call from the universe, or to me, God. This was a way for me to be shown physically, that the way I was living was not serving me. It was a way of the universe shaking me saying "WAKE UP, YOU CAN'T KEEP LIVING LIKE THIS!"
Whatever it was- God, the universe, my subconscious, whatever, it worked.
That was the moment I knew I was done. I knew I had 2 choices.
1. Stay where I was at. Living in fear, living a life that wasn't true to myself, living a live that was limiting my potential and causing me pain and suffering.
2. Leave. Shock myself. Shake myself awake. Get uncomfortable. Cause myself temporary discomfort for a real chance at longterm happiness.
So I made a decision and I left. I left my relationship, I left a job that made me unhappy, I left friends who were toxic in my life and I left everyone and everything that didn't support my sobriety. Now this is extreme and I don't expect everyone to uproot their lives in the name of sobriety. I just want you to know that it's possible sometimes that that is what needs to happen in order to change your life around. Now maybe for you it's not all of those things. Maybe it's just one. Maybe there is only one thing in your life that is out of alignment, but maybe making that one change you can change your life forever.
My point is, is to listen to yourself. Listen to the universe. Listen to your body. They are always trying to tell you something. If you have panic attacks, or feel depressed often, or constantly just feel like something is "off", listen to that. Our body, our mind and our intuition are meant to keep up safe and keep us aware of our surroundings. We just have to learn to listen to it.
Thank you for reading.
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