Ok, I confess, I was the party girl, and no, not like the girl who is the life of the party, more the girl who made partying her life. My twenties did not turn out to be the “best years of my life” as I had naively hoped when embarking out into the real world. In fact, by all accounts, I was a hot mess for most of my twenties, on a path of self-destruction, all the promise that I once held, I pissed away. Life was fun, one party after another, fun ALL the time. Until it wasn’t.
As my thirties approached, it became painfully obvious, somewhere, I had lost my way. I was stuck in this life of superficial friends and abandoned dreams. And even though one bad thing after another kept happening, I didn’t change course. I continued to punish myself, for mistakes both real and imagined, but I didn’t change course. As the consequences continued to pile up, I didn’t change course. Relationships damaged, perhaps forever, but I still didn’t change course. It seemed as if I would never learn. I sought out people who treated me as bad as I treated myself, because I guess, in some twisted way, I believed I deserved every bit of it. I may have been smiling, but inside was empty.
I kept searching, hoping to find what could fill the void, but it was elusive. Long nights that turned into even LONGER mornings became happenstance, there was no permanence, my life was in flux. Abusive relationships, seriously flawed decisions, and a pattern of self-sabotage had been the routine for longer than anyone wanted to admit. Especially myself. But I dared not change, this crazy life was all that was left. I had sacrificed who I was for whom someone else thought I should be long ago. Traded in my potential for familiarity. Tried to force myself into a life that wasn’t for me, and boy did I make myself pay.
Looking up from the bottom is not a good feeling. In fact, it is the saddest, most empty feeling in the world, but it does force you to change perspective. I had become good at letting life happen to me. I was excellent at being the victim in my life. “Why was this happening to me?” crossed my mind daily.
Time marched on, and slowly, as I began to change, life began to change. I do believe you will continue to face certain situations until you have truly learned the lesson from it. I was a slow learner. It took an immense amount of time for me to get out of my way. It was easier to blame others or the circumstance for the state of my life, taking responsibility, knowing your part in your own catastrophe, now that is the hard part.
I had to accept some very uncomfortable truths, the first and probably most important to my growth was that while others could drink alcohol without incident, if I drank there was always some kind of incident, from blackouts to full-blown knock down drag out fights, you never knew how the night would end. It was not healthy and definitely not fun.
So one day I finally quit drinking.
I had built up that gravity of that decision in my head for so long, for years I just could not even imagine life without alcohol, it had become so ingrained into my daily routine, and I wasn’t sure how to let it go. I guess on some level, the party girl had become the role I viewed myself in most often, it was familiar, it was comfortable and I could disassociate myself with my “drunkieness”, it came with the territory of being a bartender. And hey, as an added bonus, if I didn’t remember it happening, I never had to admit to myself that I’d done it!
I credit that single decision with changing my trajectory, I finally had changed course. After that, accomplishing my goals seemed easier, less elusive. I was able to finish college with a BS in Alternative Medicine, and with the knowledge I gained while in school, I was able to heal, both physically and emotionally. I changed the way I lived my life, and most importantly, how I looked at myself. Maybe you have something holding you back too. That behavior that is self-destructive or self-defeating, and while it may not be obvious to everyone else, you know, and you are the only one who can change it.
Today, in retrospect, the craziness that was once my life, the self-created drama I used to surround myself with seems like a lifetime ago. Now my life is spent focusing on helping others find the way back to health and happiness using holistic means and spending time with two of the most amazing little men I know.
Thankfully, I have met some incredible people on this journey, most of who stuck around to see me emerge out of the depths, and for that I am eternally grateful. You know who you are, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I confess, it is taking the leap, doing the thing that scares you most that will make all the difference, but you have to believe it, to try it for yourself. And sometimes, that leap is enough to change course forever.
Take the leap.