“Sometimes the weight you need to release isn’t physical”
December 5th. Fuck you December 5th. I cannot tell how I feel about this day. I am conflicted because it is identifiable as my darkest day, but also the first day of the new me. The pain of this day is one that I did not create alone. You see, I had had a lifetime of pain, rejection, and abandonment. All topics not acknowledged, simply pushed down and covered up with vodka. Just a few weeks earlier (October) I had flown down to Texas with my then 5 year old daughter to see my half brother. I was drunk, which was my constant baseline back in those days, and my half brother raped me. Shame filled me. I told no one. Eventually my family blamed me. So, I did what I do best. I pushed it down, blamed myself, and drank to be numb. This was the start of the dark night of my soul and my clinical depression. My soul was ravaged in pain and the anger oozed out of me at an uncontrollable rate. I was raw. I lacked all hope and it hurt to roll over in bed. I couldn’t see how life could ever improve. I had lost all hope. I was so dark that I lived in Southern California and don’t ever recall seeing the sun. My heart was darker than midnight on a new moon. I literally snorted opiates and drank so much vodka I should have been pickled. But then, it got worse. I realized I did not want to live, like would anyone even notice if I wasn’t here anymore? Of course not. I was worthless and the cause of all my families problems, even the ones that happened decades before I was ever born. I instantly knew the solution. I called Ziya and begged her to take my daughter. I then proceeded to google suicide. I made a plan and executed it perfectly, all while telling no one. At some point during the day my bio father called a friend told a whopper of a lie (something he is skilled at) and then made a false police report against me. The truth was already ugly enough, one did not need to lie about it. But, that was his choice, that was always his choice. A few hours later the police broke down my door with guns drawn. Another police trauma in a long history of police trauma at the hands of my family. Funny the police never did find that homicidal woman with an arsenal of weapons. They did however find a shell of a human, curled up in the fetal position in the dark walk in closet. My blood sugar was under 50, my pulse was thready and faint, my bp so low no one could get a good read, and I was floating in and out of consciousness. This was my first suicide attempt, it should have been fatal. In fact, all of them should have, but each and every one had divine intervention. I woke up for a moment in the hospital and then again in a psych ward. I was FURIOUS. Dear goddess I couldn’t even kill myself correctly. I would love to say this is the day life started to improve. It wasn’t. It was the first day of the stickiest, heaviest, darkness that I have ever experienced. However, it took this day to bring me to where I am today. And, I love where I am today. I am grateful to the darkness for showing me where and how to heal. I am grateful for the darkness for teaching me how to love me. I am grateful for the darkness for teaching me how to sit with the heavy. I am grateful for the darkness for enveloping me for a while so that I could shine even brighter. I am grateful.
Most people who know me or know of me, understand that I love yoga. Most people do not know why I am so passionate about having a daily yoga practice. Yoga literally saved my life. 9 years ago I was addicted to pain medications and vodka. I was suicidal and had attempted suicide a few times. I was living in this suffocating dark abyss. I had lost all hope and couldn’t even imagine how life might improve. So how did I go from that to what you all know now? Yoga and sobriety. I had started playing around with yoga before I got sober, but I was doing it for all the wrong reasons. I was doing it for a means of getting attention, not for the healing and life changing aspects of it. In rehab I started fumbling around with some very shaky Sun Salutation A and B and meditation. It was shaky for many reasons, the main one was in my last suicide attempt I gave myself a brain injury. So, literally at the start of my yoga journey I had balance issues, motor planning problems, couldn’t feel where my body was in space, and was learning what it felt like to be in my body instead of numbed out by opiates and alcohol. That is a-lot of road blocks! Incredibly, yoga met me where I was. I was blessed with several instructors who helped me make modifications, so yoga became possible. I became stronger, more flexible, and incredibly I became centered and calm. The changes on my mat eventually became transformation off my mat. Every time I wanted to use, I got on my mat. Every time I started to have a panic attack, I got on my mat. Every time life got “too big”, “too much”, just “too” I got on my mat. These are many of the reasons I adore yoga and am forever grateful for the practice. It is these reasons why I say “Yoga is for EVERYBODY!” and mean it. There are modifications available to meet you exactly where you are right now. I approach yoga with curiosity, suka (ease), and lila (play) this is how I share my passion. I am forever grateful for my yoga journey. Where will your yoga journey take you? What road blocks are you starting out with? How can I help you get onto your mat? Shine bright my friends, you are worth it!
A couple weeks ago I had a birthday party with most of my tribe present. It was a wonderful night. The theme was unicorns and there was so much laughter my abs hurt the next day. The night made me heart break with gratitude and joy. It also made me reflect. Just a few short years ago the holidays and my birthday slipped by and no one really noticed, I didn’t even acknowledge they were special days. I was shrouded in the dark cloud of clinical depression and addiction. I had pushed everyone away…family, friends, my children.. everyone. I was suicidal, my Mum had just passed, and I was set on destroying myself. So how did I flip my life around to what it is today? I had one person consistently in my ear telling me to stand up. He walked with me as I crawled out of the massive black hole I was in. I got sober and went to therapy to change my thought patterns. That was truly the only drastic step I took. Everything else was a series of small steps.
1. I got honest, super honest. I became transparent with one person. Good, bad, ugly I shared it all. I never felt judged by this person and slowly learned how to live without facades, this was crucial. This honesty eventually spilled out into my daily life.
2. I started to address my negative monkey chatter with a series of affirmations and Byron Katie’s 4 questions. It was amazing how often I awfulized or ruminated on things that weren’t true or was beyond my control.
3. I moved every day. Running, yoga, walking something every single day. This helped the chemicals in my brain and helped me to heal.
4. I adopted the motto “the next right thing”. Instead of worrying about what might happen in 3 months or what happened in the past. I focused on what was the next right thing for me. I discovered the next right thing for me often didn’t line up to what society thought. That became okay.
5. I started to pursue my interests, regardless of what they were or how off beat they may be. I studied crystal healing, energy medicine, herbs, meditation, gardening, and more. This eventually became my path. Every new grain of knowledge slowly fed my being. It helped me create a life that I love, more than the craving for vodka and opiates. In this learning process I turned off the tv and read. This helped feed my soul.
6. I started tuning into me. For the first time, probably ever, I was in my body. I started to realize what made me authentically happy. What filled me up and what depleted me. This affected the foods I ate, the activities I choose, the people I hung out with. Truly it was revolutionary.
7. I made connections, authentic connections, from my heart. Life ceased to be about stature, what others thought of me, or chasing some facade. It became about love, joy, healing, being a good friend.
I am forever grateful for those dark days. They were the catalyst for the biggest change of my life. I now feel love and connection. I have real joy and I am living my truth. I am so grateful for my current reality and to have a tribe that I love and loves me. It didn’t happen over night, but it did happen. Change is possible. If you are wanting to create positive change in your life start small and be consistent.