I remember swearing I was not going to drink. Then, drinking.
The drinking part was bad, as it always was. Mostly, because once I understood I had a problem with drinking, I could not fully enjoy it. Of course, consequences would follow (massive hangovers, "what did I do / what did I say" panic attacks, and moral devastation) and inevitably, I would default to my one inner narrative:
Pamela, you are a loser. What the f*ck. Haven't you learned your lesson? What is wrong with you? You make me sick.
Yep. That's what I told myself. Dagger-on-throat, I would spend the day after "breaking my promise" playing the ultimate role of judge and executioner - eagerly adding layers of shame and pain until I was "properly self-punished" and ready to take on the shame anyone else laid on me.
It was horrific.
Are you doing this to yourself today, darling?
If you are, please - stop. Now.
Here's the deal: Judging yourself only creates more shame, more pain. It only sinks you into a place of hopelessness that serves no one.
When you judge yourself because of your drinking, you are forgetting that perhaps - just perhaps - you are dealing with something much bigger than bad behavior. In my case, I was dealing with addiction. The idea that I could successfully fight that addiction just by "promising myself" is laughable today. Because I didn't know what I was dealing with, I kept repeating the cycle.
If this is you: breathe. I mean it, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Now. Listen up.
Part of the process of getting sober is creating a deep, personal decision to take action into your healing. A vital element of that process - of getting you to a place where you can make that decision - is to feel hopeless. To be tired. In other words, being where you right now sucks, but you need it.
Being where you are is actually a blessing, You can use this time to curse yourself into a ball of shame... or you can take a deep breath, take a 10,000 foot perspective of what is going on (truly going on!) with you and booze, and walk into this moment with opportunity.
We get small windows of time to create possibility in our recovery. Feeling like shit is a powerful place of possibility. This is where you shift from self-pity and self-shaming into factually observing the facts, giving yourself self-compassion, and getting curious about what you can actually DO (action) to break this cycle.
"Woe-is-me" does not work.
"I-hate-me" does not work.
"What do I do now? " Now, that works.
Again. Breathe. Give yourself a hug. Consider that you are not a shitty person, but one that needs a different path to deal with this thing. Breathe once more.
You may want to give yourself some down-time today. Chicken soup, lots of water (with salt and lime) will make you feel better.
But - You may also want to take this window of possibility to take concise action.
Stop judging yourself. Instead, start your path of healing.
Try this shift today. See how it feels. See how your soul feels loved, instead of slaughtered. See how your "hope" level feels if you treat yourself with kindness (and action follows), instead of with devastating shame.
I send you my love.
I encourage you to take action - and I would suggest some of that action may start with my coaching course and meditation course. Little steps open the door for long-distance sprints. The first steps are taken by breathing and shifting your thoughts.
Whatever you choose to do, keep breathing and get curious about why you are here today.
I am proud of you.
Image from Grateful Guidance LLC on Instagram.