So here’s the truth. I spent most of 2017 struggling. With a lot of things, really. With EVERYTHING… or at least, it felt like that some days.
I was struggling against a divorce process that I didn’t want to be going through (but that was also probably one of the best things that could’ve happened to me as far as my love life goes… because hindsight is 20/20 and all that).
I was struggling with fears over my future and how I would survive being ripped away from everything that I’d known for most of my adult life, everything that I believed in, everything that I’d built my life around.
The ex was the main breadwinner in our household at the time, and had (in my opinion) helped to cultivate a whole “monetary value equals personal worth” thing in our relationship dynamic for years (but only after he started making more money than me, interestingly), and when you couple that with the fact that I ended up having to sell/donate a lot of my stuff and live with friends and family for a while after the divorce, well… I found myself just sort of bouncing around in a half-hearted, reactionary, ungrounded state during a large part of 2017… feeling lost… feeling completely unsure of myself… feeling unsure of what I even really wanted.
I was struggling with unhealthy behaviors that were escalating out of control… binge eating, drinking myself to sleep, late nights spent sexting and/or having phone sex with people I’d met online but never ever planned to meet in real life (you know… the exact opposite of any sort of meaningful connections, basically).
And all of that left me feeling empty and alone in the long run, you know? I mean, when the distractions were over — when the food and alcohol was gone (or I just couldn’t consume anymore of either because I’d made myself sick), when whatever high-class human I’d been sexting randomly stopped responding to my late-night messages… there was just… nothing. Emptiness. A never-ending hole inside me demanding to be filled with something other than what I was attempting to fill it with.
I was also struggling with identity issues and feelings of being a fraud at work, since I held myself out as a health and fitness coach, and spent my days helping other people get their sh*t together, and was even getting paid to lead discussion groups at in-patient and IOP recovery clinics (so basically, I’d been spending a lot of time giving everyone else the advice that I needed to be taking myself but absolutely wasn’t taking).
So like… with 2017 being soooo f*cking hard, I just had this idea in my head that 2018 would be like “The Year of Trish,” you know (catch that “Happy Endings” reference, anyone)? Like… I imagined this major turnaround in my life, where I would get it ALL together with gusto and banners flying and balloons and celebration. Huzzah! You know? Or something like that.
Anyway, 2018 has turned out to be a year of change, for sure, and challenges, and growth, and learning, but it’s been NOTHING like what I expected. There haven’t been any banners or balloons, and it definitely hasn’t been an easy-peasy walk in the park.
I did decide to take a lot of leaps of faith this year, though. So maybe 2018 is the year of the leap?
I mean… I leapt into the full-time RV lifestyle this year, embracing my independence in finally not having to live with family anymore, and embracing a dream I’ve held onto quietly for years about living a free-wheelin’ nomadic adventure.
I leapt into this online recovery support group I recently joined, and started doing the work to confront my alcohol overuse issues, and actually finally got real with myself (and a few close friends and family) about my drinking.
I leapt into therapy. Again. I’d actually been in therapy to help me process some of the issues surrounding my divorce for a while prior to this, but this time I came back to get real with my therapist about my drinking and eating issues (something I’d not discussed or revealed to her up to that point).
And I’ve been slowly leaping (err… as much as anyone can slowly leap… which I guess entails waiting motionless for a while and then making a big dramatic jump, and repeating that process over and over again) into the practice of not pushing down my feelings, of being with them as they arise, and of not holding myself back from speaking my truth. And that’s a work in progress.
But I’m looking forward to 2019 with a sense of hopeful curiosity. Which is, I suppose, all anyone can really do, right?
And I’m so grateful to be able to be here right now sharing these feelings and insights with you all. I think there’s a kind of magic in the group synergy of conscious presence and intent that exists in the sacred spaces we create for ourselves, whether online or in-person. And this feels like a sacred space to me. I hope it does to you as well.
For context on this post, and links to related journal entries from this particular piece of my life's journey, see My Sobriety Journey, Journaled.