Addiction is a jail – I choose life

At the age of 24 I found myself lost and alone without the will to live. Life as I was experiencing it felt utterly pointless and meaningless.

Three years previously I had woken up in New York to 9/11. This time a different type of devastation had hit my life.

Addiction had taken a firm grip on me exposing a hole in my soul so deep and terrifying that I didn’t know if I could survive facing it.

I had started early with sugar and later moved onto ‘bigger and better’ substances to fight my demons.

I was abusing, rejection and punishing myself in too many ways to mention, hell bent on self-destruction. Not only was I slowly and painfully killing myself but dragging my family down with me too.

I operated from a core belief of “I am not good enough, I am not worth it”. Every decision I made, every path I chose fed this belief, reaffirming its truth in my life.

That morning I asked for help, I chose life. I entered rehab for 9 months. This is where my journey of recovery started.

Addiction is a jail, a self imposed prison that robbed me of my dignity, relationships and self-esteem, slowly, step by step I had to rebuild a life I had lost at a young age. I had to start looking at myself in the mirror and acknowledging the pain, hurt and disrespect I had imposed on others and myself. I had to start believing in myself, I had to start acknowledging that it was “my light, not my darkness that most frightened’ me.

I was petrified of being successful, beautiful and taking responsibility for my talents. I had to grow up. Merely surviving was no longer serving me.

In recovery I have learnt about relationships and love. I have learnt that the greatest love I can have is for myself because until I can start loving and accepting myself as I am, I would not be able to truly love and accept others.

The process felt slow and at times I didn’t know if I would survive it. I didn’t know if I could stand another day of facing myself head on, of embracing my defects of characters as well as my positive attributes. I didn’t know if I could heal the damage I had inflicted on others. I had to trust.

I did survive it; I survived something that was meant to kill me and in the process discovered a life filled with abundance and magnificence. I am learning what it means to stand in my power and not shy away from my light.

Exposing myself is hard, I struggle to trust. Vulnerability sucks but I’ve got to push myself to expand my vision, my playing small does not serve the world.

Today I choose to operate from a different operating system, one with a core belief that is authentic and true: “I am good enough, I am worthwhile”.

It’s been a tough road but I’ve learnt that it’s often through the darkest times that we grow the most.

May your journey be blessed.

Xxx Karen

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