I entered recovery in 2011 and have been on this divinely arranged and zig-zagged journey ever since. My strongest addictions were to alcohol, uppers, food, cigarettes, love relationships, people-pleasing & perfectionism. My black-out, binge-drinking, pack-a-day-smoker days lasted until just after I turned 26. Once I quit the drugs and nicotine, I could really start to look at the food & behavioral patterns.
I turned to food for emotional comfort and stress relief, to fill a void, to chase a euphoric high, to numb out…always thinking more was better. I had secret binges for which I felt tidal waves of unbearable shame and guilt for days afterward. I tried to self-treat anxiety and depression with food, which only increased as the bingeing did, creating a cyclical trap. These were similar reasons to why I drank, but also different.
One of my favorite recovery quotes is from Anne Lamott, “I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.” So that’s what I did. I stopped shaming and I started healing. I understood that I didn’t choose addiction, but I could choose recovery.
Over time, I learned to give me and my body exactly what we needed, nothing more or less. I learned to honor myself and my range of emotions. I learned other sources of comfort and a list of ways to manage my stresses. I learned how to say no to others so I could say yes to myself.
I no longer wish to deprive, stuff, punish, or bully myself. My new daringly imperfect lens is one of grace, humor, and forgiveness. It’s been a wild journey back to self-love. Practice makes progress, not perfection.
Some things that have played a vital role in my healing and RECOVERING a sense of love and care for my body, brain, and spirit have been:
- my yoga practice (important “meetings” with my body)
- meditations (“adult time-outs”)
- guided meditations (“positive brainwashings”)
- daily doses of radical self-acceptance, eating intuitively & to FEEL good (no matter what the gurus claim with their “eat this, not that” rules)
- listening to guidance from others but tuning out the nonsense
- accepting compliments without arguing, and asking for what I need without apologizing.
It is my unwavering belief that we are all already whole and love-worthy, which is the basis of my holistic recovery coaching practice. We may just need some help remembering.