Realizing My Truthadmin
How can we determine we are on our right path? How can we be certain we are becoming the person we are meant to be? These are questions that have followed me my entire life and will most likely continue to follow me for the entirety of my life.
The answer is, we probably won’t ever have certainty that what we are doing is either the right or wrong choice. Each move we make ultimately has a butterfly effect that will continue on leading us to some amazing life experiences and some potentially devastating life experiences, and some that are in between. Ultimately, it’s our sense of self and heart that will drive us to the choices that resonate with our calling. Sometimes that can take a lifetime to figure out. But for some of us, it takes just one profound experience to shift our paradigm to figure out who we were always meant to be. This is where my story begins.
As a child, I really did love my quirky overly energetic self. I was constantly bouncing off the walls, too much energy to sit still and always looking for ways to make life more fun. I didn’t like to be bored so I made everything a game or adventure. Fast forward to middle school and when you enter the world of pre-teen adolescents mixed with a spunky care-free, namely uncool and an oblivious kid who thinks everyone will like her (AKA me). What I got was a really harsh reality check. It was around age 12 that I really started to not like myself. Mainly because I started to believe what others told me. I was weird, too small, uncool, clueless, ugly, unpopular, and not likable. Cue a slew of unhealthy and toxic behaviors as a result. I let the influence of others dictate my relationship with myself. I fought myself, I hurt myself, I even hated myself. I found myself questioning everything I was, I challenged my own core values because I was convinced they couldn’t be right if I wasn’t accepted by my peers. I started acting differently to fit in, choosing things I did not like just because others thought it was cool. I un-became myself. Now think about that… at age 12/13 I dissolved my true identity to try and become something I wasn’t. That is a profound moment. From there over the next 10-15 years, I struggled with eating disorders, OCD behaviors, anxiety disorder, and that was just the beginning. When I entered High School, after I discovered alcohol, and all bets were off at getting back to my true self because I found something that made me feel numb and at ease with just blending in.
My relationship with Alcohol continued in what you would consider a “normal drinker”. Yes, I partied in high school, but no more than my peers did. Using escapism was my main coping mechanism for truly facing the harsh reality that I did not know who the hell I really was or what I wanted out of life. But at the age of 16-18 why would I need to figure that out?? I still had time to have “fun” make mistakes and enjoy the ride with limited consequences (Or so I thought).
Fast forward to 2010 when I moved from my small college town in Monmouth Oregon to Seattle for an internship at Valley Medical Center as an Exercise Specialist in Cardiac Rehab.
There is no better way to feel like a speck of dust in a wind storm than moving from a town of 1200 to a major metropolitan city. I had no friends, no family, and no clue of my direction or intention with life.
I am going to skip a lot of years and fast forward to where most of my major shifts started to happen.
At age 29 I got pregnant and married within 9 months of meeting someone who I thought would love and protect me. Well, It only took 2 months of marriage to figure out that was never going to happen. Nothing like abandonment and neglect mixed with a narcissist to really fuck you up even more mentally into believing you aren’t worthy, and you don’t deserve anything good. This is when my relationship with Alcohol really took off. I drank any time I could feel those inner demons laughing at me. And that was daily. I knew I had the capabilities of more but I honestly believed for a long time I didn’t deserve them. I believed that this toxic relationship and the type of treatment I endured was my life now and that I would have to accept that. Waking up with that being my first thought in the morning sent me into full-blown anxiety and depressive state daily.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our negative self-talk, our false beliefs, and to settle for what we “Think” we deserve instead of shattering all these false ideologies and breaking out of our image into something we never thought we had the ability to become through the process of acceptance.
Rehab in January of 2020 was the best thing I could have given myself. First, it offered time and space away from the negative and toxic environment, but it gave me a chance to really face all of the ugly things that I had been hiding from. It was a really ugly process, painful at times. But one the bravest thing I can claim I have done. Owning your truths and being willing to be vulnerable is a terrifying process. Most people will never open themselves up to that kind of potential failure and rejection. But without failure, there can be no success.
While the vulnerability is the birthplace of many of the fulfilling experiences we long for- love, BELONGING (Fitting in and being accepted), joy, creativity, and trust to name a few- the process of regaining our emotional footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Rising up strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness in our lives; it’s the process that teaches us most about who we are.
While I am still going through the healing process, sorting out what my calling is, and what my next chapter looks like. I remain strong in my faith with God, and my faith in myself. Rigorous honesty, a willingness to be vulnerable and doing the next right indicted thing has kept me in line with my core values that I had strayed so far from for so long. I have had to start from the bottom more times than I would like to admit, but each failure is an opportunity to learn something new and use that as momentum to gain wisdom and grit. Never give up trying to become a better version of yourself. You are worth it, we are all worth it. Keep. Going.
Written by: Kaela Rose