I’m a 48-year-old daughter of a bipolar addict/alcoholic (ACOA friends, hello!); narcissistic parenting survivor; former addict (while earning my degree & working overtime hours to pay for tuition), ex-cult member (where my ex-JWs at?) & Multiple Sclerosis warrior.
I spent decades in flight or fight mode, living every day in a highly stressed state fueled by hypervigilance, busyness & perfectionism. I yelled at my family, struggled with anger issues & criticized myself constantly for not living up to my own expectations. Every time I failed to do so, I looked for something to blame. And every failure was met with more defeat, more efforts to do better, be better, perform better. I was an excessive apologizer, because it was my defensive tactic against someone ELSE pointing out my shortcomings. I put everything & everyone before my own needs. I wouldn’t let myself relax or sit still unless I was sure “everything” was done. And then when it was, I had no energy to do anything fulfilling or nurturing, so personal growth came to a halt.
I didn’t like who I’d become. I was rigid. Short-tempered. Controlling. Overwhelmed. CONSTANTLY. Mind chatter was relentless, keeping me awake at night & distracted during the day.
It was like my brain resisted any attempt to calm the fuck down.
From the films I chose, to the situations I put myself in, my body seemed to NEED the stress. Horror films or shows about taboo lifestyles or psychologically surreal life stories drew me in like a gnat to a bulb. I took risks because I fed off Fear-of-the-Unknown, & often made choices just to experience the results – for better or worse. (1990s rave scene anyone?) As time wore on, I also increasingly found reasons to criticize everything & everyone.
My brain knew that doing all this would result in the kind of tension & chaos it craved. Chaos was comfortable! It’s all my brain knew for a majority of my life. But it was exactly this emotionally charged cycle of behavior that led me to realize I was trapped in a pattern of Stress Addiction. I was living my life on auto-pilot, letting everything happen TO me, instead of taking charge of my day. And even though I took great care of my nutrition & fitness, I didn’t feel healthy.
My Dark Night of the Soul happened one night while walking my dog. I was feeling badly about myself, & therefore struggled to feel worthy of the dream life I finally created. (More on manifestation later…) Like a ton of bricks, it hit me: “Your life wasn’t normal. What your parents did to you was wrong. How you were taught to be in the world was misguided. You deserve to be free from it all.”
ONLY because I was no longer living in survival mode was I able to have this epiphany. My brain wasn’t fighting to stay afloat anymore. So it finally had the space to open up to new (if not scary) perspectives.
I was safe. Finally.
Safe enough to explore the darkest areas of my life.
Safe enough to learn how to make peace with them.
Safe enough to explore my identity.
Safe enough to be who I really am.
And these breakthroughs led me toward the reveal of my life’s purpose: Teaching OTHERS to feel safe. Safe in their body. Safe in their mind. Safe in their soul.
So we can ALL live an unapologetically authentic life.
I’m so glad you’re here.