What is devotion?
An earnest attachment to a cause.
I began this blog post a few days ago. I got two paragraphs in and was saddened at my own recounting of 2022. I’m a girl of a few noble accomplishments but what I have done I’m very proud of. When I realized an entire year had passed and I had given it to my love life – the primary relationship which crumbled before my eyes in October – I realized something was very very wrong. Lest I omit that prior to this relationship was another one and another before that. No one need remind me that I owed myself a little R&R between lap hopping. I’m well aware, cognizant of my patterns and hunger for company.
I happen to believe that we do our best work in tango. A lover mirrors our shadow self, not to mention the practice and humility it takes to have a healthy dynamic with them. Some people live their entire lives devoted to someone else, their families, children, careers and material wealth without ever choosing to divvy that energy in half with themselves. There’s nothing wrong in giving our all to any one person or project but for arguments sake, and the expense of the focus & motivation that I lean on for single-mom security, a broken heart was derailing me from my most important job. A few days ago I felt barely capable of doing things that have always brought me joy. There was minimal writing, half hearted workouts, lethargy and an insatiable appetite of which I was over feeding with sugar and poor behavior. One could say, especially a clinician like myself, that I was in the throes of a depressive episode. I accepted that I had hit a new bottom of which I had a witness (thank you my dear angel friend, you know who you are).
What’s a girl to do but take her mothers advice and go to an Alanon Meeting. For those uninformed,
Alanon is a 12 step recovery program for family members and spouses who have been affected by their loved ones drug or alcohol use.
My mother, my biggest fan and cheer leader, resorted to Alanon when she realized she had married an alcoholic and then later fell under the spell herself. Much of my childhood was colored with addiction – even if my parents weren’t actively drinking, they didn’t have serenity or peace from the abstinence of it which we all know can lead to relapse or worse, an arid life. My brother had to postpone his college career at a prestigious music school due to a drug induced psychosis (he proceeded to recover, address his depression, sexuality and later become an incredible globe trodding bassoonist for several symphonies). My uncle drowned himself in alcohol and cocaine until his organs failed. I wasn’t spared or special – whether or not I picked up an illicit substance, I lost myself in perfectionism, a hunger to measure up and an insatiable hankering for enoughness. People like me go on to become codependents which is a painful addiction to sacrificing oneself for the sake of the other. It took a sharp dagger from one special person, some life experience and the conviction to admit that where I routinely trip amongst the trees that the forest was no longer in site. It was time to abandon the only ship that left me more hungry than sated. In Alanon I found freedom from my victimhood and incessant need to recount the haunting narrative: “Love is lost, I’ll never be good enough even for the right person, revenge sounds tasty, poor poor me…”
So what does self devotion look like and how do we know it’s time to mend our cups? The body is the most honest thing about you. It never lies. It doesn’t even try. And yet we all have this quirky way of convincing ourselves otherwise. When the body starts communicating it’s crucial we listen.
But when we don’t havoc lurks. Obsession, inflammation, confusion, avoidance, anger, sadness, weight loss/gain, possessiveness, ceaseless searching for validation – the list continues. Have you tried the latest distraction? I promise it only works for so long. How about juggling lovers? I don’t recommend it. I wasn’t showing up and even when I did I was barely there. My body was telling me: you can’t give right now so stop looking for a place to invest (speaking of investments, let’s not even talk about FTX and Bankmen-Fried rn…) My self expression has never been about, “look at me world, I’m hot shit,” as much as it’s been: we gotta open our eyes – can’t you see it? The answer is on our plates, in our guts and circling our consciences with dizzying caveats, it’s not what we think it is. We’re all here serving a magnificent purpose and it’s not meant to be perfect according to box-like standards but messy, real AND passionate. What do pictures say but a thousand words right?
So then what do a thousand words say?…because that’s me – a photo and a caption. A thousand and ONE.
Everyone’s version of self care looks different. Though I pride myself in living a clutter free life, no amount of organizing, sloughing or trips to good will can do what needs to be done on the inside. I set a date to unplug and journey back to my roots. I realized quickly that I’m just an evolved version of my 9 year old bed ridden self with the same gusto to live and get better. This is a continuum after all. Change takes brut force sometimes but evolving takes bravery.
No one needs to tell you that you’re worthy. No one needs to tell you that you’re beautiful. No one needs to tell you that you’re capable. No one needs to tell you that you’re the captain of your own ship, that you can’t get it wrong, that you’re never fucking it up, that you’re one day closer. And yet – we feel so much better when we’re reminded. I need to be reminded. Re-membered. Put back together.
That’s the mother that lives inside all of us.
To take care.
Trauma’s a bitch. What’s even harder to embrace is that trauma isn’t what happens to us. It’s recounting over and again the pain, the loss, the blows, the betrayal and the failures that make it feel so unbearable. It takes courage to admit that we’re hurting and need a break and even more courage to accept the fear that comes with that detachment. But you’re stronger than you think you are.
The next 30 days:
Sayonara Instagram and Facebook – I shuttled those fucking apps to the WAY back of my phone. Byeeee
Working on the Annual Body Reset – I was plugging away on this project over the summer which took the back burner until it fell right off the stove. Whoops
Learning Tarot & reading new books
I have new private clients that need my full attention
Spending undivided time with my kids – mostly at the rock gym
Yoga….the deep intentional traditional kind
I’ll be on here though – my website – my third child – my work, drive and passion to continue to articulate the wondrous world inside my mind. Which reminds me…ecstasy lives there on fleek, it’s a playground – have you explored yours lately? I can help you.
Til next time XOXO