It’s not truly broken until you look at all the shattered pieces and have no idea how to put them back together again. Right?
That’s what I used to think. It’s how I used to live my life, even after I stopped drinking. I was content to let my health and finances suffer … as long as they weren’t completely broken. Despite marking two years of continuous sobriety back in February of this year, I wasn’t enjoying my life. I wasn’t truly living. Things were broken, and the situation was just short of dire.
You see, after I got sober, my newfound clarity honed in on what I wanted – a thin and perfect body, money to take care of the things we needed, more energy, time to breathe, peace. However, instead of focusing on having all of this, the same old thoughts of not having what I wanted took over. It was familiar and predictable. Self-loathing inserted itself back into the conversation. I didn’t deserve my ideal life of good health, happiness, and success. The same old questions – Why can’t I be thin? Why can’t I earn enough money? Why won’t they just leave me alone? Why can’t anything good ever happen? Why can’t I just get out from under this [fill in the blank]? – ran on a constant loop through my mind every day.
Last year at this time, I was sober. But, I was not thriving. I was sick. Working with doctors on a diagnosis. Going through more tests. I was completely stressed out about money and continuing to try to rebuild my business after devastating losses six months prior. I ate my way through the holidays, constantly reminding myself that I would get my shit together in January.
I was caught in the throes of self-sabotage. Again. This time it wasn’t alcohol. I was in an addictive relationship with sugar, and I didn’t know how to stop.
“At least I’m not drinking,” I said to myself to excuse my behavior. “I just need one more pint of ice cream and I’ll stop.” There were nights I ate two pints after spending the day over-caffeinating with coffee and Diet Pepsi. I had replaced beer with coffee and soda and wine with ice cream. In almost the exact same quantities.
It blows my mind to look back now and see just how sick I still was despite successfully maintaining my sobriety.
I needed to be more than sober, but I didn’t know how to get there.
So, I did what I always did. I ate my way through the holidays and resolved to stop on New Year’s Day.
I used sugar to soothe myself when I might otherwise be triggered to drink by the stresses of the holidays – social gatherings, expectations, family dynamics, money, comparing, judgement.
Why? Because I didn’t know there was an easier, better, healthier way. I didn’t realize I didn’t need to suffer. As always, my little New Year’s Resolution was a bust.
The Turning Point
Despite how energizing and empowering and just plain amazing the She Recovers in NYC event was in May, I was so very lost and, upon my return home, I sunk deeper into the rut that had been trying to bury me for nearly a year. I felt almost as hopeless as I did before I stopped drinking the first time. Even though I was more than two years sober, I was as broken as I could be. And, I don’t even want to think about what might have happened had I not decided to accept help.
In June, I took the next step in my recovery and enrolled in Ellen Palmer’s Ideal Life Foundations class. To say the experience was a game changer would be an understatement.
What I’ve learned since is that what’s ideal doesn’t just fall out of the sky when we least expect it. It doesn’t show up because we’re good people. Or because we are sober. There’s no light switch to flip or magic wand to wave. It takes a change in mindset. A change in the daily habits of what we give (or don’t give) our energy to. A commitment to fuel our bodies and minds with nourishing foods, thoughts, experiences, and decisions. And, gratitude for it all.
More than anything, what I learned is there is no single perfect day on which to commit to loving yourself. I didn’t need to be as broken as I was to start picking up the pieces. I didn’t need to hit another rock bottom.
“We don’t get extra points for suffering. There is an easier way.” ~Ellen Palmer
Today, I have been sober for more than 1,000 days. I have revamped the way I eat (and lost 50 pounds in the process!). I have learned the true meaning of self-care and self-love. I have a huge box of incredible tools that empower me even on my very worst days (because the same triggery shit is always going to be there and sometimes flares up in huge ways). I am present for myself and my family and my clients. I have learned how to energize only what serves me and look at lack in a completely different way. I spent years looking for a way out of life. Today, I want to live. I’m at peace. I breathe easily and mindfully. I’ve learned how to forgive. I willingly embrace new opportunities. I am free.
I share all this with you because I truly cannot believe how much different my life is today compared with one year ago. I know others can benefit from the very same lessons I have been able to learn. We all deserve to become the best possible versions of ourselves and live our most ideal lives. When we do, everyone wins.
Ellen has new sessions starting on December 5, and I can’t help but share her with all of you as she has so powerfully impacted my life. Now is the most perfect time to jump right in, escape the holiday stress and focus on yourself, undo the harm, find out who you really are, and discover the ideal life you believe only exists in your dreams. Your ideal life is real – it’s for you, every day.
To help you gain clarity on what your version of your ideal life looks like, Ellen has opened her schedule for a complimentary discovery call. You can book time with her by clicking HERE. To see highlights of the Ideal Life Foundations class I participated in, click HERE.
Looking ahead to a New Year’s Resolution as a magical start date is just an excuse to not live in the present. It’s a way to justify a current behavior we don’t want to give up, but know we should. It’s a promise that we are ready for things to be different yet unwilling to energize the things that will fuel and empower change. New Year’s Resolutions continue our suffering and delay our joy. Your ideal is for you now – you just need to learn how to find and embrace it.
Things didn’t miraculously fall into place just because I got sober. I had to do more than simply abstain from alcohol. To recover from the thoughts and emotions that drove me to the deepest depths of addiction, I had to do more. And, I am so grateful that I have learned how to live a healthy, happy, and successful sober life.