Updated: Apr 1
You might be wondering:
"Why is this person writing something about sobriety on her pet blog?"
Well, because it's my blog, I am human, and my own personal journey is a part of my story that has allowed me to be where I am now: helping pets and humans live healthier lifestyles.
My journey with health & wellness isn't just about pets or the struggle I had with my very sick dog, Slugger. The journey I've endured with my own health also defines my business and goals as an educator.
I've been trying to find words to express my feelings on this lately... But it's incredibly difficult. So I'll stop thinking, and just write.. Cause that's what I'm best at.
Today marks 4 years of sobriety for me.
I've been trying to hold it all together, but it's difficult.
Looking back brings me to tears.
Looking forward brings me to tears.
It's a lot to take in. Sobriety.
I've come so far... and yet, this is a journey... not a destination.
So I turn on music.
Sit in the present moment.
And I breathe. Tears flow.
I'm filled with emotion.
What a weird thing, the human experience.
Then and now is like night and day.
Though, the emotions surrounding it... On some level, remain the same.
You're probably struggling, too.
And I see you.
Maybe you're sober.
Maybe you want to be.
Maybe you're not quite ready, yet.
And that's okay.
It's okay to be sad.
It's okay to hurt.
It's okay to feel lost.
But it's also okay to be proud of yourself for coming this far... Even if it's not quite where you want to be.
Finding yourself in the midst of chaos is difficult. But not impossible.
Giving yourself permission.
Permission to rest.
Permission to cry.
Permission to surrender to the feelings that swallow you up at night.
Allow yourself to take life as it comes.
Allow yourself to gracefully accept where you are.
Here and now.
I know, easier said than done, right?
The road to sobriety has never been easy.
In fact, I tried more times to quit than I could probably count.
It wasn't until around 2017 that I noticed my body was screaming at me. Chronic pain, digestive issues, mental health struggles, etc. All came whirling at me in a halt to get me to stop my destructive tendencies.
Partying & hard liquor.
Self care wasn't even a term in my vocabulary.
I tried to stop.
I started eating better (cutting out all gluten & dairy), journaling, working out... Even deleted all social media for awhile. Ohhh, that was nice! Probably one of the best moves I ever made!
I became a tea snob in my new search for something delicious to drink, that would actually be good for my body!
Temptation was dwindling... But still found me a few months later.
It was harder that I anticipated.
What finally changed?
A life altering event.
One that I knew would take me on an entirely different journey.
For the better.
A journey of a lifetime that I least expected.
One that would end my partying, carelessness, and self destruction.
It wasn't long after a major relapse that I found out I was pregnant...
I knew right then and there that my life had taken a turn.
This was it.
It was no longer my life. It was no longer my own body I had to care for.
It was my child's as well.
Our life. Together.
Self care habits became a daily routine.
Warm epsom salt baths, nourishing tea, using essential oils, reading and writing, going for daily walks/ hikes, eating healthy.
I started ditching all chemicals in my home and body care products.
Slowly, my medicine cabinet was being replaced.
Truthfully, a lot of my holistic mindet began at this time. It was a warm afternoon and I was headed to the pool... I felt a spark of curiosity to look at what was in the sunscreen that I was about to slather on my growing belly.
I was shocked. In the garbage it went.
How have I never known what was being put on and in my body?
This journey was going to be more than I expected!
A huge lesson: awareness.
Through the next few months, the roller-coaster of life kept whirling challenges at me.
I lost my job, and one of my very best friends passed away unexpectedly.
Soon after my daughter was born, I learned even MORE about the importance of self care.
My party days were over. But I was still in turmoil.
Late nights nursing... were exhausting. Postpartum Depression creeped in.
Anxiety was heightened.
I had a new human to take care of, on top of myself. Not only did I birth a new baby, I birthed a new me.
There was a lot to learn.
The typical momma overdrive... Lack of sleep. Trying to do it all. Care for myself, a newborn, and my dog.
As much as I thought I was prepared for all of this. I wasn't. The changing dynamics threw me for a loop in the blink of an eye.
I felt like I didn't have time for me.
I felt like I didn't have time for Maddie.
But yet, I felt guilty asking for help.
Shit, I'm STILL learning and applying these lessons along the way.
That rest is okay.
"Learning mindfulness requires us to peel off layers of social conditioning. And that can take time. It takes practice to learn to rest without guilt. To prioritize caring for your soul, over getting things done."
When we can surrender to the flow and stop resisting all the challenges life throws at us... We can find true happiness.
When we resist the process, we are only fighting ourselves and putting up roadblocks.
When we ask for help, it lets us rest.
Physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
I couldn't have endured all this alone.
My beautiful network of support has allowed me to gain the confidence to tackle the chaos, one step at a time.
My family, circle of amazing friends, my faith, therapist, and even my wonderful boyfriend who has pushed me more than anyone to pursue my dreams and goals...
He's the kind of person that tells me the tough shit that I don't want to hear... When I need to hear it.
Now I'm the owner of an amazing business, following a dream that I never knew I had.
Inspiring others ro take control of their pets wellness, while also educating in a healthier lifestyle choices that affect their entire family's well-being.
So, let this be a lesson.
When you feel like life is continuously kicking your ass, you're losing hope, getting in your own way of success, and want more than anything for the hardness to soften... Make a move.
Sit in your thoughts.
Whether that be for a moment, an hour, days, or even weeks.
Sit and imagine where you want to be.
Take the first small step in that direction.
And crush any obstacle that gets in your way.
"To the hardest year of your life... When you didn't crumble. When you refused to break. When, on the worst night, you whispered into the dark: challenge accepted."
YOU have the power to change.
All you have to do, is give yourself permission to do so.
If you are struggling, please know there is help available to you.
My Favorite Resources
As always, I love to provide resources and research within my posts to help others make better decisions in not only their pet's lives... but their own as well. Here are a few things that have played a major part in my healing journey and recovery.
God's Not Done With You -Tauren Wells
Resilient - Rising Appalachia
Moon/ Sun - Trevor Hall
*I am utterly OBSESSED with this company! I think I own 90% of their products!
Homeopathy is another ESSENTIAL that we use frequently.
There's plenty more that I may add at a later time, but I'll leave it here for now.
With Love & Strength,
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