“What’s Different This Time?”

It’s surprising how fast time flies- but even more amazing how much can change in two years.

The change within, that is.

I looked at the calendar earlier and realized that exactly two years ago today I got on a plane and headed to a treatment center in Southaven, Mississippi.

It was my first time going to any sort of detox or long-term program, but feeling lifeless, depressed, and without hope, I went without much thought. My family and friends had been terribly worried about me- and rightfully so. Isolating, oversleeping, self destructing, and drinking far too much, they all joined forces and tried to figure out what to do.

I didn’t know how to help myself or admit I had a problem.

A friend of mine from Michigan made a few calls and got me into a facility just south of Memphis, so I packed my bags and cabbed to the airport, leaving all of my things for my family to pack up for storage. I had no idea where I would move when I left treatment, but I was told not to worry; everything would fall into place.

While I was there, I dove into the work- but also dove right into another addiction- a cute baseball player from Boston. They say we replace one thing for another, and instead of completely focusing on myself, I looked to other things to cure my discomfort.

I guess that explains what gave me the idea to move here, doesn’t it? 🙂

Until this moment, I was never transparent in my writing about why I started this blog or what happened before I came here. I didn’t want anyone to think of my struggles as a weakness, nor did I want to accept the stigma of “going away to rehab.”

Today, I am proud of my path.

Despite saying I would never drink again, I was wrong; addiction is cunning, baffling, and powerful. As much as Mindful in Style has helped me dig deeper into who I am, share what I have learned, and strengthen my spiritual practice, I still had a lot of work to do- and more falls to pick myself back up from.

The relationship didn’t last, but neither did my willingness to let go of ego. It wasn’t until these past couple of months that I learned to stay in my own lane and work on my own recovery without letting people, places, or things determine my happiness. I may have written about it, but I didn’t fully embody this principle until I realized this past summer that no one could save me but me.

I’ve recently been around people who have placed their focus on their relationships, their children, or their work, not knowing they must start with themselves. It has been like a mirror, reminding me of how I used to think. “I’m getting sober for my kids” or “I need to get back to work” are not long term solutions for the void inside that lead them to drug or alcohol use; inner healing is the first step to long term change. Before this past go-around, I still placed much of my worth on what I was doing on the outside, not what I was doing to heal on the inside.

Before we can help anyone else, we must help ourselves first.

Letting go of ego and pride is so important for peace and happiness. Thanks to my spiritual practice, my writing, and support system, I can finally say, “this time is different.”

I’m grateful to have started Mindful in Style; these lessons I’ve written about for nearly two years will never leave me, but I must remember each and every day that healing takes work.

My last Saturday in the south- November 2016

About Kristin Fehrman

Live beautifully.
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