“If you want to fix your life, you need to start at the beginning.”

Something weird happens with you eliminate drugs and alcohol from your brain. Memories you had repressed, and sometimes forgotten entirely,  begin bubbling to the surface. Emotions rear their ugly heads and you begin seeing things about your life through entirely new eyes.

I was 31, and for the first time in my adult life I was getting to know the real me. I was starting to realize that I am not just a 31 year old, but I am all my 31 years of life.

“If you want to fix your life, you need to start at the beginning.” As I entered early sobriety, I couldn’t get this thought out of my head.

I obsessively began combing through the strands of my life, desperately searching the root of my problems. My childhood was good. My parents were involved in my life, I did well in school, and I didn’t have some huge hardship or trauma that tarnished my youth.

I couldn’t blame my addiction issues on my “fucked up childhood.”

I also didn’t suffer from a lack of connection with others, the other major factor that influences future addiction. Being an only child was lonely, but I also had parents who loved me and friends I could count on.

So what the fuck was my problem? I felt like a self-indulgent, selfish mess. I had no one to blame but myself. I was a 31-year-old alcoholic, drug-addicted, disaster – and it was all my fault.

But something inside of me kept revisiting the issue of connection. Why had I felt so disconnected my whole life? I always had an abundance of family and friends to turn to, so what was missing?

9 days into sobriety I got the answer I had been looking for – an answer that forced me to reevaluate my entire life and change the way I approached this journey. I had never connected with myself.

I couldn’t just cut out drugs and alcohol and magically transform into a confident and self-assured adult. If I wanted to get my shit together – REALLY get to the bottom of this, I would need to do some serious introspection. If it made no sense to brush my recent issues under the rug, why would I do that with my past?

In order to get to know the “real” me, I would first need to connect with myself. I needed to connect the dots between my current life and my past. I had to do the dirty work and untangle the years of pain and pent-up emotions that had stopped me from ever truly loving myself.

So that is what this blog is about. A journey of self-connection, self-discovery, and self-healing.

I am ready to face my problems head on – cutting out drugs and alcohol is just one tiny piece of the puzzle.

As I comb through my past and present, I am going to do the work necessary to heal 8-year-old me as much as 31-year-old me. I am ready to break the patterns of trauma and abuse that have dictated my life. I know in my heart that I cannot be whole until I do this. And my god I want nothing more than to be whole.