I know where you are. I remember. I remember that heavy pulsing in my brain, cut only by the sharp pain of self-loathing. I can still feel the disbelief…that I could have done this. Again. Each time I drank when I pledged not to felt like another bit of evidence that I was not in control of my life. That I perhaps never would be.
I remember those mornings, curled on the couch, when moving and being felt impossible and so there was no escape from those thoughts. I remember the cruel irony that I drank to escape the thinking, and woke up the next morning imprisoned in a body with only my thoughts and my pain for company. Those mornings after I drank were never once worth the fleeting bit of escapism the night before. Yet I repeated them over and over again.
I'd eat the crap food and scroll through my phone to try to do damage control. I always thought that social media should hold some filter, so there was a way to see what you had done the night before. The acquaintance who's photo you liked, the girl from high school who's status you just had to comment on. That embarrassment in the pit of your stomach as you read some heartfelt, emotional, and horribly misspelled post you wrote. The shame you feel when you delete it and hope no one notices. When you wonder yet again when the fuck you will finally get your shit together.
And then, there are the days where you cannot stay in the safe haven of your couch and you must venture out, hungover and fragile, into the world. I have thrown up at children's birthday parties, crouched in the bathroom with the faucet running, hoping there is no one waiting outside the door. I've gone to work with a large red Gatorade under my arm, claiming I have a stomach bug. I've driven places when I couldn't see straight and felt like the last two brain cells I hadn't drowned in gin were at war. I've sat through meetings, wondering if people could smell booze on my breathe. Gone to the gym only to wonder if everyone could taste the booze coming out of my pores.
What I'm trying to say is, I see you, and I remember. I know that hurt and that feeling of groundlessness and how it feels like nothing will ever change. Like you will never change. The disappointment and the shame. But. I am not here to reinforce the messages you're telling yourself right now. Because, beauty, they are not true. I am here to tell you how in awe of your bravery I am. How I'm completely floored by your vulnerability. This is the place from which we make a change. From which we start again.
Day one's are the very hardest of days every damn time. (And there can be as many times as you need. As my wise teacher, Holly, says you get forever tries.) Resisting that urge to numb when you're in such a painful place is some warrior shit. And because you will not recognize it, I am here to tell you. Go easy on yourself. Breathe. Take care of yourself like you'd care for a child, or your best friend.
I am here to tell you, on this morning where you feel like your skin is coming off and everything is blurring at the edges, that I am proud of you. Because you are here. You are showing up. And that fucking counts. As many times as it takes. I am here to tell you that you are strong. That you are brave. That this life over here, that is yours, is waiting for you. And it will wait as long as you need it to.