It’s easy to journal about the things that have happened but how does one get really vulnerable about the stuff that is happening?
We call on courage, that's how.
Throughout the entirety of 2016 I have been curious about my relationship to alcohol.
Whoa -- there it is, I said it. As I sit here tonight and for the first time type these words out I weep. I’m not even sure what to say here -- as the time passes I seem to be developing an intolerance to wine and further more, I don’t know when and how to stop once I have a glass and blacking out has become a norm; doesn’t matter if I have one glass or two bottles. The problem feels complex to me; I do not depend on booze to move me through my days and going without is not a struggle at all, but when I do drink I never know who is going to emerge. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine -- more often than not, in fact – but other times it’s a mess.
I don’t see it being a mess for other people.
It wasn’t always this way, this is actually new for me – it started this past Christmas at a family dinner. Emotions were high and I had 3 glasses of red wine that night and ended up violently ill, yelling at my bearded man (for no reason) and leaving my parents house out the back door. I then carried on being so violently ill all day the next day -- projectile vomiting– this has never happened to me before. It scared me and I steered clear of alcohol for a few months. Steering clear was easy, but I wondered what the fuck was happening to me and of course I tried to my best to make sense of it all, perhaps the red wine mixed with the emotions I was feeling at that particular point in my life didn’t mesh well? Perhaps it was the type or red wine? It didn’t make any sense to me. Over the next few months I was intentionally cautious around alcohol, especially red wine. I learned that even 2 glasses would leave me viciously hung over the next day – more hung-over, shameful and anxious than I had ever felt. Something wasn’t right.
There was a Saturday night a few months back, that I went to an AA meeting with a loved one. I went as support -- not of course because needed to be there – but secretly at the time I was so glad to be there. It was one of the most touching nights I have had on this planet. The humans were so raw and real but mostly what touched me is how much it all made sense to me. I went home that night and cried and journaled and reached out to my Aunt and wondered how much of me needed more of this.
Eventually I quit drinking red wine all together and instead took up white. At first that was perfectly fine and to be honest 99% of the time it is 100% fine, but that 1% gets bad.
I’ve always drank a lot but it has never reacted in my body the way it has this past 9 months and I believe that is something to listen too. I preach this concept all-of-the-time in my work: body communication, people! When the body speaks we must listen and symptoms are her language. I am beginning to notice the knocking of my soul on my hearts door saying “something needs to shift”. I am noticing the physical symptoms trying to get my attention saying “Kori something isn’t fitting here any longer”.
It's time to listen -- and thats ok!
Coffee has also been giving me very odd reactions -- I cannot imagine my life without it, but I feel zero shame over it. I also felt zero shame when I was forced by my body to drop gluten, dairy and eggs – and trust me, I didn’t want to say goodbye to eggs – but again, there was no shame. Why then is there shame with the booze?
I hear all of the time that ‘hangovers are shitty in our 30’s’ and while I fully agree with that, if I were to be honest with myself I would say that there is more to this story than that. Something about alcohol is no longer mixing with the chemistry of my body. Even 2 glasses of wine (red or white) leaves me feeling floaty, disconnected and filled to the absolute BRIM with shame. Sometimes a night with a few glasses of wine is perfectly fine and wonderful and fun and then other times I black out and say super hurtful things to people I love and the worst part is that I have no idea the next day… the 1% is becoming damaging to my life.
Saying these things out loud, even just to myself, makes me clench and sweat and fear that I will be left alone, abandoned and never loved again. It’s scary to post this. Its scary to expose some of these layers to the world and even more so, to myself. But let’s get real -- this is the process of evolution, self-forgiveness, self-knowing and ultimately self-care. The skeletons must come out for us to look at with compassion and curiosity.
Shame is wild and intense when left in it’s secret little cave. I know full well that we all struggle… with, something. It will look different for each and every one of us but at the end of the day we should not struggle alone. We are all battling our darkness and trying our best to be the greatest expressions of our own soul and live a life of purpose and potential. I will be damned if I am going to let shame stunt my growth.
Exploring our relationship to substances, food, places, people, relationships, dynamics etc. is a fundamental part of self-awareness and self-dating. What once worked for the self does not necessary equate to it always working; we have to continually check in with the body, the mind and the soul in our process of journeying to the seat of the soul to enquire as to ‘how well does this currently sit with me”? and when we learn that that thing that used to serve us well no longer resonates then we must ask our selves: Do I have the courage to ease off? Do I have the courage to surrender into the wisdom of the body?
Regardless of how this story unfolds, I know deep down in my gut that this is something my soul needs to explore –whether or not I choose to drink wine again one day is not the point at all. I also refuse to explore this with wild and rigid rules that shame dictates. I think I will explore this the same way I always explore my soul – out in the open so I can share my heart with the tribe and we can all journey into healing together. Writing is a huge medicine for my soul and sharing it is so unbelievably healing for me.
The truth blares me in the eyes right now, I feel it deep in my soul and I’m scared fucking shitless to expose this layer of … me. But, alas here we are and I will continue to march through my life with an open heart, a transparent story and a whole lot of courage to face what shows up.
At the end of the day: I think its just really fucking brave to just show up and be seen, flaws and all.
And we move ahead with the simple equation of self care: one foot and then the next… & repeat.
I love you.