Living Out Loud

I can be bold. Obnoxious even, when it comes to sports especially. I toe the line of playful banter, or not so playful. I openly obsess over Mexico. I gush over my kitties and my beautiful home. But I often hold back, as well.

All my life I have felt so insecure. They say you can’t miss what you never had, but there is nothing that could replace Daddy’s love. I’ve never felt that, so I’ve often felt out of place in the world. Ashamed and afraid. Even at the age of 39.

The answer to life’s problems is definitely not at the bottom of any bottle. I’ve searched many. It has been 22 weeks now since my last binge.

Every one of us is different, and we need to do what is best for ourselves. I have chosen to do this recovery by myself. As in, without rehab or therapy of any kind. I have ‘graduated’ from one program already, but obviously it did not do what I really needed to change at the time. I have to say it did give me some tools and awareness to ultimately face this, fourteen years later. I have my own program.

My main trigger to relapse is anxiety. I am aware of that. I am working to eliminate or at least manage the anxiety so it doesn’t consume me. I researched vitamins and supplements, for both anxiety and to hopefully rebuild my poor liver. I have been faithful in this regime for almost five months now. Writing is also helping. I have hobbies like astrology, sports, and swimming.

My problem with traditional therapy is that I cannot allow myself to connect easily. Counselors have actually given up on me. I just cannot fully trust someone when I was forsaken before I was ever born. I am married to the most wonderfully supportive, understanding man. I have come a long way in my relationship with him in my self-worth department but maybe I still kind of hold back in some ways. I have friends and close friends. Different people see different sides or layers of me.

I have to be accountable in my recovery. Accountability was a HUGE deal in my program. Personal accountability. “I language.” That aspect of the classes has helped me tremendously in life. I made it part of who I am and have always carried it with me. Accountability is a big part of AA or other programs as well. I am accountable to my husband and my best friend, who is also fighting this battle 400 miles away.

Social media has really come into life since I was in that program, and it truly could be the most helpful tool in my recovery. Being able to connect, instantly, around the world. It is that connection I crave, that I need. I was never Daddy’s girl, though my husband does spoil me entirely now. I stay home these days. I am focusing on my recovery. My husband works, but is not always immediately accessible when anxiety strikes. My close friends also have jobs, families, or obligations.

Feeling connection helps me feel purpose. As a fatherless daughter I struggle with that often. Like the quote attributed to John Lennon, when I grow up I just want to be happy. I love when I make people laugh. Friends have noted that is what they remember about me. I even got the crying/laughing emoji as a Christmas present. I post things all day just trying to laugh my day away.

I find myself posting and writing a lot about my recovery. I find that it is actually the most effective form of accountability for me. Sure I am accountable to my people, but I have also failed them on many occasions before. Since I have brought my recovery to social media, it has changed my game entirely. If I fail now it will be on a world stage. I don’t know if my Leo ego could allow it.

So for that, I will not apologize. I will live my recovery loud and proud. I will no longer apologize for being myself out of fear of what someone may think. I’m almost 40 and I’ve lived this long without Daddy’s approval. My inner rebel is quite amused.

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