Updated: Jun 17, 2020
"To thine own self be true," a phrase that came to my mind repeatedly in my last month at rock bottom.
I'd been in a serious downward spiral for over a year. Trapped in a toxic relationship fueled by drugs and alcohol with an abusive, narcissist boyfriend where the only way to avoid my reality was to indulge in the booze and drugs that continued showing up several times a day and dive deeper into alcohol and addiction.
I found myself too weak to stand up for myself, but I couldn't go on living like this. I felt completely stuck without family or friends to turn to and scared to start my life over again. During these last few days this thought came into my head "to thine own self be true". This thought persisted in such a way that I was telling myself in a very negative way how hopeless I was and that I couldn't even be true to myself.
After a few more days of hell and another massive argument with my narcissistic boyfriend, I found myself again trying to hang on to a relationship that was literally killing me and I walked out for the last time. I checked into a hotel room with a carry on suitcase and my dog at 2am. I was a hot mess. Physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, I entered that room and fell to my knees crying out for God to help me get away from this man and this relationship, to give me the strength to stand up for myself and break this cycle of insanity.
The next day I woke up and decided to move to a better location where I could easily get around by walking. I found a cheap room and after grabbing a beer for the ride, I caught a taxi and headed to town. That turned out to be my last drink because something strange occurred. In that taxi ride to the new room I had this thought come into my head "Maybe if I quit drinking I might be able to find the strength I need to stand up for myself". This was strange because for my entire life drinking and drugging was how I coped with heartaches and abuse. Drinking had always been my solution.
Two days after I walked out for the last time I found myself in a recovery meeting. I thought I might learn how to control my drinking, but my eyes were quickly opened to the fact that I was an alcoholic and that I had been one for a long, long time. I jumped on the clean and sober path and my ex went 10 times harder into addiction. After going to these meetings every day for a week I was given a little coin by the group and when I turned it over it said, "To thine own self be true". What a sign! These exact words that were going through my head when I had almost given up all hope where staring back at me in a new place that was filled with hope. Right then and there I knew that I was on the right path and that I was in the right place.
I have come a long way since that first week in recovery and I still have a long way to go. After 30 years of drinking and drugging, many failed relationships, physical and sexual abuse, and escaping the grips of a psychopath, I am taking back my power. I no longer reach for the bottle to drown out and numb the pain. I do not consider myself a victim, I'm a survivor and this is a part of my story.
I hope that by sharing it maybe someone somewhere will have the courage to break free from their own cycle of insanity and stand up for themselves.
Now I no longer feel alone and I have people in my life that love and care for me without judgment or conditions they accept me for who I am and where I have been. I am learning to love and respect myself the way I always should have. I have a program and I have hope again!
The picture of me wearing the unicorn horn was my first belly button birthday in sobriety where I celebrated by getting in touch with my inner child and acting silly. I woke up with no hangover or regrets afterwards! In the other picture of me laying on the street I had been up for a couple of days numbing out and it reminds me of a life I never want to go back to.
"To thine own self be true" is a reminder for me to love myself, to stay true to myself and to always do what is right for me first. When I do this I am at peace and in alignment to help others too.
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