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I’ve Stopped Searching For Self-Love At The Bottom Of A Bottle

The main problem I faced was a distorted belief system. I felt that love came with accomplishments and accolades. I didn’t believe that I was good enough to love as is. When love is missing, a lot of negative stuff comes out of the woodwork: anger, resentment, fear, jealousy.

I became an addict in my third year of college.

It was important to me that I attended at the time because I believed that a degree in a frame would bring me some respect and admiration from others.

But three years in I lost interest in my courses, to the point that going to class made me severely unhappy. I didn’t think it was OK to drop out though. I had invested a lot of money in my program, as had my parents. And I desperately wanted that piece of paper.

My desire for a degree stemmed from my need for approval. I was forever thinking that if I accomplished certain things, people would like me. And if people liked me, then maybe I could learn to like myself.

Recovery took a long time, yet started quite simply: by reading books that inspired me. I’d feel great for a spell, then slide back into old behaviours.

But the morning after always got me back on track. Standing in the shower, feeling overwhelmed with self-loathing was a good motivator.

Feelings are funny that way: they slap us in the face with the truths we don’t want to hear.

I began to accept the fact that happiness wasn’t at the bottom of bottle. I realized I would never create any positive change in the world if I drank. And I would never be the wife, daughter, or friend I wanted to be if alcohol always came first.

I still feel the burden of ruthless self-judgement at times. There’s a little girl in me who doesn’t feel very loved, and she tries to takes over some days. But when I treat myself with an extra dose of kindness and patience during those times, I bounce back pretty quickly.

Through daily work and positive self-talk, I choose to appreciate who I am now. I know self-love doesn’t come from an accomplishment. And I know that me being me is enough.

These days I am vigilant about putting my emotional well-being first. I’m sure this commitment comes from the fact that I ignored my needs for so long. Whatever the reason, it’s working for me.

Through my struggles I’ve learned that love heals. And In learning to love myself I was able to change the belief systems that led to me becoming an addict in college.

I survived my addiction because I changed my beliefs. And if you’re suffering I hope you’ll consider doing the same.

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