I remember the night I looked in the mirror and no longer knew who I was. I remember what it felt like to know that the hole in my soul couldn’t grow any bigger. It was never my intention to become that way but it was the only way to numb the feelings and thoughts I desperately wanted to avoid. My experience has shown me that addiction knows no boundaries. It doesn’t recognize age, gender, upbringing, or socioeconomic status.
The darkness of my struggle has brought an incredible amount of light into my world.
After cleaning up the broken pieces and beginning a journey of recovery, I came to college. I was exposed to so many genuine people. I was granted the opportunity to let people see me as however I wanted to present myself. Out of fear, I only wanted to share the light – not my shadow. The distress of you seeing anything else was scary. What would you think of me if you knew my story?
I was finding it difficult to get open and honest about where I’ve been and how I live for fear of judgment. I was afraid that you would judge me in the same ways I was judging myself. As a result, I felt blocks in some of my relationships and it was anxiety-producing to hide. Big boulders were on my shoulders weighing me down because I was concealing a part of my story that has shaped me to become a woman of strength, grace, and dignity.
I’m incredibly grateful for my experiences; my pain has opened me up. If I could change my story, I wouldn’t. There’s no shame in who I am and it’s easier to be transparent about it. I have nothing to hide. I’m just living life like the rest of the world. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that when I understand my powerlessness and take the necessary steps to maintain a sober life, I can remain recovered from the hopeless state I once found myself in. I am perfectly imperfect and learning to be okay with that…At least for today I no longer need to feel any sort of way about who I am, where I’ve been or how you will perceive me for I am not my addiction.