may journal {two}

i'm 28 days into this grief, into the uprooting of my life and the burn down of what was (apparently) no longer serving me. i'm 139 days into sobriety and all i can say tonight is a giant holy fuck. life. wow. man oh man. 

so here i am. these past 28 days have rocked me to my very core in a way that i find difficult to put into words. it's sort of all a blur and yet it's also all crystal clear right down to the very 2, 419, 200 seconds that have made up these past 28 days. my life blindsided me. up until my first float on day 19, 9 days ago, i had very serious bouts of wanting to end the pain. i didn't want to scratch the itch with wine or any other vice, i wanted it to be over. i wanted to end it. this blow was simply too much for me. that is just the real hard fucking truth. i have never endured the pain in my heart as i have these past few weeks. it is all encompassing. each minute feels like a life time and there were more times that i can count where i found myself in a pile on the floor sobbing in a way i thought that the sobs would cut my air tubes off and leave me for dead. 

not one day has passed without a total heart-meltdown. no day has been easy.  

i was in panic, sheer-fucking-panic. how could this be my life? how could what i know and love so dearly not be what i thought it was? how could what i know to be true be but smoke and mirrors? how the fuck was this happening? i was sick with grief, paralyzed in panic and consumed with physical, emotional and spiritual pain. i still am. 

they say that grief comes in waves. well, for me there was no wave for the 1st 25 days, there was just a solid wall of fucking pain. there was no break, there was no chance to catch my breath. i wasn't sure i was made for this. i begged god to take it away or to take me away or to wake me or to make this different. but nothing changed. the reality remained and all there was for me to do was accept was is and find the courage to nourish my heart moment to moment.

it was torture. it still is. 

but here i am. 

a few days ago i went online and i deleted all of my words from all platforms on social media. what was the point, i thought. how much more am i going to loose by walking this path of mine? how much more can i possibly endure? i felt 'too much', too.. kori. i felt too honest, too 'type a', too busy, too plan centred, too raw, too loud, too transparent, too much. so i took it down. 

instantly upon that decision my soul screamed at me. she screamed at me the reminder of the promise i made to self years ago, that i -- no matter what -- would ever abandon self again. no matter how hard it is, i have to find the courage to be all of me, even if it is too much. these past three years of my life i have done nothing but continue to shed layer upon layer of self. i have blossomed into a fuller, more self-loving expression of kori than i ever have been. i found my voice. i found kori and i won't ever let her go, i won't ever betray her. 

i've lost alot in this process of finding me. i can not believe the destruction of this path, the pain and isolation. my heart fucking weeps for what was, it weeps for what has been lost. but the truth remains true for me: i would not do anything differently. this is my path, this is what i signed up for. healing my self and sharing it with the world is 100% my souls mission. i don't know why this mission chose me, but it did. so here i am, writing. for me this process of putting words to paper and sending them to the world feels like part of my contract, part of the reason that i am here on this planet. 

do you know how many times i have battled with wanting to exit this planet? something is fucking keeping me here and i intend to rise to the occasion. 

it's all so funny, you know, the timing of this life. right when i thought i had 'conquered the darkness' and recorded it all in a memoir/self-help book -- The Atlas of Darkness -- life rips the rug out from underneath me. she forces me back into the dark night of the soul, yet again. but this time she says "you know what your doing kori, and you have a choice here: light or dark. what's it going to be?". i was on a tightrope, darkness on one side and light on the other and with each passing moment i could feel the lure and tug of the dark. i felt her whisper in my ear and caress my hair. numbing would have felt so good. raging and shutting my heart down would have protected me from this pain. this tightrope was real for me and i had worked too hard to fall off. i was choosing love. i was choosing light and the only way i know how is through the self-care practices that i have worked on over the past 6 years. so i took every tool and every ritual i recorded in my book and i put it into practice becasue this time, for me, this was more than surrendering into the darkness, this was about choosing the light. this time i am riding this dark night of the soul without a single vice. this time i knew the map, i had the atlas, and it's working... my atlas works!

i am fucking on my knees. i am naked. i am more vulnerable than i ever have been in my life. my heart is not guarded and as i lay here bruised and shaken at the pit of this soul swamp i am expanding my capacity for faith. i am finally learning to really sit with this pain and it's transforming every cell in my body. 

i have discovered the divinity in darkness. i really have. 

its at the deepest point of sorrow, it's in the centre of the dark moments that you think you can not handle. the divinity in the darkness lays in the pain that we endure without the use of vices. it's here, but it's for the warriors who will to look deeper, it's for those who call on courage and choose with all their mite that this transformation is worth it. it's for those with faith.

this is the dark night that i have been waiting for all my life. this is the dark night that is recalibrating everything in me. this is the truest lesson in surrender that i have endured, and i am rising. i am rising to meet this excruciating pain in the eye and i am falling into her arms to let go and allow myself to be transformed. 

this is grief. 

this is the plan of the universe and one day it might make sense. today, however, it lacks all sense. i'm angry and i'm hurting more than ever before. and simultaneously i'm finding god, i'm expanding my faith and somewhere inside of me i know that this will all be ok. 

here i am, taking one step at a time, simply doing the next best thing. 

that's all i've got right now. 

may journal {i choose love}

for me writing is medicine, telling my story and sharing my feels is healing. i am honest and transparent to the very core of my being and, for me, this has always felt more than just a calling for the healing of my own heart and soul, but also a calling as part of my soul work for the world. 

writing is medicine. 

sharing my heart is healing. 

it's no secret that i have been wiped out by grief over these past 14 days, and although i still am not interested in sharing any of the details, i am certainly interested in pouring out my heart on this screen in the form of words and tears and grief and acceptance and all the human emotions that i am feeling. 

nothing has been more intense in my life, ever. 

today i am 125 days sober. a veil has lifted in my life over these past 125 days like i could not begin to describe. there are no words. just immense realizations of truth that are far beyond my human comprehension. 

over the past 6 years i entered into what i believed were my darkest days. i battled with horrible depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. there was a darkness that i simply could not shake. i had brief moments of clarity through it all, and moments of sheer and utter love as i began to slowly but surly fall in love with who i am , and also a find a man that i deeply, deeply love. but no matter the work i did -- the spiritual work, the therapy, the runs and races and obstacle courses, no matter the prayer or writing or clients or love or, or, or, there remained a darkness for me and on december 22nd this darkness came to a peak that i knew i had to face. 

in this moment on december 22nd, i fell to my knees and i asked for help. i knew this was all beyond me and i knew i needed to face what was running my life. they say that the "drug of choice" (for me it was alcohol) is a symptom of something greater and deeper going on inside the soul. i thought i had dealt with that demon in my years of therapy, my coaching, writing, healthy eating, prayer etc etc etc etc.. but, it was still there. 

there was no ultimatum for me, no one told me that i "had to fix this or else". me getting help was 100% because i wanted it, 100% because i knew deep in my soul that something was not right. 

and so i embarked on the journey of sobriety. 

i was not graced with a pink cloud. this has been fucking hell. i did not cut the wine out to find myself lighter in thinking, clearer in dreams and wide eyed with a new found sparkly outlook on life. no, i found myself obsessive, worried, controlling. i found myself discovering painful truths and seeing all of the areas in my life that i could actually see my role, my responsibility and alas the calling to 'clean my side of the street'. 

and yet with the pain of this all, i could also see the grace in it all. i'm coming to believe whole heartedly in a power greater than myself and i am finally learning what the word "surrender" actually means. i'm cultivating faith like i have never had, and in the moments of pure and utter despair -- as i have experienced over the past 14 days -- i am finding myself choosing ... LIGHT. 

wild. i know. 

step one in my spiritual recalibration was having this soul of mine learn to surrender into the darkness and find the divinity that resided there. and i did that, i learned that. i learned that all seeds must be buried alive into the great void to find the nourishment they need to crack open and begin their journey into potential. i've worked tirelessly at this, fuck i even wrote a book about it, it's called "the atlas of darkness", and it's in my editor's hands ready to be sent out into the world. the darkness became my jam, so much so that i got the nickname of "high priestess of darkness".  i love the darkness, i respect the divinity that is to be found there. 

but now it is time for my seedling soul to sprout and choose the light. nothing has been more painful that this process. my heart shattered into more pieces than i could count as my world -- inner and outer -- came crashing down. everything i believed to be true, turns out to be smoke and mirrors. smoke & mirrors. and all that is left for me is this wild, intense, sober feeling of despair. According to Paulo Coelho in his book Brida "Disappointment, Defeat, Despair are the tools God uses to show us our way..." and so with that i am attempting to hold on tight as i move through some of the most painful lessons my soul has encountered. i'm trusting that this is all meant to be, that this wild recalibration of everything i thought to be real and honest and true will lead me to where my soul is meant to be.

for me this experience of choosing the light means that i am fully immersed in the mind-blowing pain of the life i am living at the moment, all the while falling to my knees in absolute prayer and serenity. i am walking through the moments of this grief with a tender and open heart. i am refusing to feel hardened or jaded. life had taught me softness and trust and that is what i am holding onto. i am present and not numbing out. i am listening to the moment-to-moment calls that my soul needs, like showing up to church alone on a sunday morning after not attending a service in 15 years or going to the dog park one, two, three times a day just to figure out and remember how to breathe, or laying on the floor in fetal position and crying animalistic cries for hours upon hours into the wee moments of the night. i'm facing this astronomical pain even though there have been many times over the past 14 days that it hurts so bad i thought it would kill me, and at times, wished it did. 

life is really fucked up. 

and beautiful. 

and intense. 

and raw. 

and it is what it is and we have only two choices:

Face Fear and Recover 

or 

Fuck Fear and Run. 

i choose the light. i am choosing to show up with my giant beating heart on my sleeve and i am choosing to love all the way through this. i am choosing sobriety and forgiveness and love. i am choosing light and courage. i am choosing the path of the warrior. one foot and then the next. 

i choose love. 

i choose love. 

i choose love. 

april journal {grief}

I am in the most astronomical levels of grief I think I have ever felt before. Ever. I feel betrayed and broken open at the seams. What I thought was the truth has turned out to be lies and what I thought was solid, I now know was a 'house of cards'. The wind blew and the structure came crashing down. I am at a loss for words today, all I can really articulate are the feels that are in my whole.entire.being. 

Loss.

Betrayal.

Abandonment. 

Broken Heart.

Grief. 

Grief.

Grief.

I have been sober through this whole ride and that, it seems, adds to the intensity of this entire painful process of illusions falling to the wayside. Many moments over the past week I have found myself waling like I would imagine a mother animal would wail if she lost her cub; loud, animalistic, frightening, powerful. I'm lost. All I have right now is this giant broken heart that desperately needs mending. At times I don't know how to move forward and at other times I wonder if I will ever stop crying, if I will ever heal?

I know I will. In time. 

But for now all I have are the deep and painful cries of my heart, the sore abdominal muscles I have from shaking violently in tears on the floor.

The grief, it hits me when I least expect it. Sometimes it's the mornings as I wake and realize that this is my life and I was not lucky enough to have had a bad dream. Sometimes its a night once the darkness arises and the feelings overwhelm me and other times in mid day -- in the grocery store, eating dinner, sitting in a meeting, walking the dogs. Who knows when she will hit me. 

It's very real. Very alive. Enormous pain. 

But alas, this is the nature of life and on some cosmic level it will all make sense at some point in time. And so I hold true to my ways: one foot and then the next. One day at a time all the while praying my ass off that I may have the serenity, grace and courage to move through this painful life lesson.

That's all I can do. 

april journal {heartbreak & choice}

how do i say what i need to say when i am totally at a loss for words? can't i just spew tears all over my computer and can't the magically turn into readable emotional processing? how do i process these emotions when they feel so intense that they take me out? how do i know what to feel when i can not figure out what the plan is going to reveal? how do i stop the panic? how to i calm the fuck down?

i don't. all i do -- my only job -- is to simply be where i am at, which is the bis stop of broken heart. my job is to feel the feels.  

i know a few things this morning:

- waking up was bitter sweet. sweet in the sense that of course i am happy to have another chance at this mysterious fuck show we live in (this is a real sign of growth for me; there were many, many days i woke up only bitter and angry -- absent of the "sweet" part -- that i had to live this life out. many days i wanted it to end. to feel the sweet.... well, thats a win and the small wins matter) but bitter becasue i wish my reality was a dream, -- one that happened in my sleep and graced me with the gift of starting fresh in the morning, one that wasn't real, one that i could simply shake off and go on like 'normal'. but alas, it is a nightmare -- not was, but is -- the kind that is real. the kind that no matter how hard i pinch myself, i can not wake up from. 

- i'm scared shitless. i really am. i've never been so scared. 

- my heart is shattered to a million billion fragments of hopeless dispair.

- i'm crying in public, alone in a coffee shop and i can't stop.

 as much as this is a swift kick in the heart centre of everything i trust and feel and love and as much as its taking my breath away, i feel something interesting happening, i feel myself making choices i've never made before. i am whole heatedly choosing to ride this out, i am feeling every.fucking.ounce of the pain of this all. i am not running or hiding or numbing. i am present. i am not controlling the outcome and when i find myself becoming obsessed with the fears and the 'what if's' i find myself saying "kor, you got this". i hear myself praying over and over and over again and my prayer is different than it used to be. my prayer is not my order for god about what i think ought to happen but rather, my prayer is one of surrender and a true and honest plea to god to say USE ME AS A VESSLE. you know, the kind of prayer that says 'i don't know what the fuck is up here but you seem to make shit work, so you do it" that kinda prayer. i feel myself walking on a tight rope -- one that could easily catapult me back into old ways -- drama, addiction, pity parties, darkness, suicidal thoughts all the shit -- all that bullshit i have worked so fucking hard to heal. but on the other side of this tight rope is faith and light. 

i'm choosing the light despite my broken heart. 

and here is what else i know,

- we don't get to know the 'plan' and i believe that had we got to 'know the plan' we would be too chicken shit to take steps forward, life is smart and leads us with bread crumbs... follow those.

- self care is not dependents on what the 'story' is or how the 'story unfolds'; self care needs not know the yesterdays or the tomorrows. self-care is a right-fucking-now job. 

- life is fucked up, but she knows what she is doing. finding the light and the surrender and the flexibility with an open heart is way less damaging (trust me, i've tried every other route) 

life demands that we call on courage, she demands that we become warriors. life is not fair and sometimes it makes no sense what so-ever. but, that's ok. it's ok not to know. it's ok to feel horrible and filled with anxiety, it's ok to feel broken and lost and betrayed and worried and untrusting. it's ok. it's ok that we can't show up for the world sometimes and it's ok to toss and turn all night long in worry. it's ok. it's ok to cry in public and it's ok to reach out to the tribe. it's ok to not know what tomorrow may bring (we never know this piece anyway)and it's ok to feel fear to the very core of your DNA. it's ok to pray and yell and vent and scream and say WHHHYYYYY????!!!! it's ok. it's ok to be a mess and fall apart. it's ok to feel totally irreparably broken. it's ok to question faith, as long as we find a tiny inkling of open heart. it's ok. life is not easy. the path is not straight. we are made for our lives. i am made for this path and with every ounce of my strength i plan to trudge through this to higher more forgiving and compassionate places. 

and that's it for today. 

march journal {three}: cleaning up

The well of feeling residing in my heart is enormous but it's not the same as it used to be; I mean - it is & it isn't all at once. Mostly, I feel whole again. Mostly I feel like a well balanced & content human. There is still the grief & the emotional residue, the 'psychic hangover', but that it the smaller part of who I am these days. It's not gripping me the way it used to. I am able to cry again with no agenda or need to fix or obsessively label it. 

I am finally beginning to feel ... joy. yes, JOY.

Today I am 76 days sober today. I really resisted that this sober thing had anything to do with the vastness that I feel these days -- both the highs & the lows. But today I am unable to deny the link. 

It's another layer of humility. 

For me, getting sober has been an intense process of digesting something I did not want to digest, which of course manifested in my body as really bad physical indigestion. As the days pass by & I continue showing up & doing my work within this realm I am beginning to experience a very large veil being lifted. I can see my life for what it is. Truths are being revealed. Life is no longer blurred. I am not able to run away from the intensity of the feels that I experience & somehow -- buy the grace of a great intelligence -- I have been interested in riding this wave, I have been content with the discomfort, I have been willing ... I have been so very willing.

I am learning on an even deeper level to "clean up my side of the street". Meaning that I am aware more fully of the role I have played in the different drama's in my life & although there remains a part of me that feels like life is unfair & unjust & my heart hurts & my inner teenager wants to stomp her feet & say "you owe me life, it's not my fault", I can see a bigger picture these days. I can feel the inner nagging voice telling me that 'it is time -- no matter what righteous indignation I feel -- to step forward & clean up my part'.

It's hard. It's a great calling. 

It's not so hard to clean it up as it is to become aware of what an asshole I have been. Life loves to serve humble pie, I think it's life's favourite dessert. 

It's a time of great growth for me. It is a time of really & truly setting ablaze that which no longer serves me. It is an experience like nothing I have ever felt before. The world as I know it is fading away & a new one is revealing it self. 

Its brilliant & terrifying all at once. 

I am changing at a cellular level & all I can really do in this process is continue to check in with my heart & soul to say "hey kori, how are ya? who are you today? whats new & different? where do you need nourishment? where can we celebrate?". I'm changing faster than I can keep up with & the only way to self-honour is to self-date & take time with the tender heart in this rib cage I have.

Life takes the most interesting twists & turns. For much of my life I have held my heart & felt enormous pain, but this chapter feels very different, this chapter feels .... I don't know yet, it feels content & I am so pleased with that.