“My identity was my addictions,” wrote Lauren Stahl, founder of American accountability and empowerment website SPARKITE, on the Huffington Post blog recently. If that’s a sentiment that sounds familiar to you, whether during past or present experiences with addictions, then the good news is that it needn’t always be that way.
How? Well, for Laura – who admits to “living in darkness” during addictions to alcohol, drugs, and an eating disorder – the answer was simple, but stunningly effective: talking about her recovery from addiction. We thought her five inspiring reasons why she found sharing to be caring for herself are worth repeating here.
I lived with shame and guilt running the show for years. I stuffed down every emotion I was feeling and got myself involved in dangerous and embarrassing situations. This cycle continued and fuelled my addictions. By outing my addictions, I am able to give them less power and tap into the person I was truly put here to be.
“I never thought that my story would inspire others. I never thought people would want to listen to what I have to say. When I opened up about my addictions, a new connection with others began. A sense of vulnerability I never felt before. I have thousands of people part of my SPARKITE community and by being honest and open about my struggles, I watch as it helps and heals others.”
“Carrying baggage is detrimental. I did it for years. When I got sober, I cleaned up my side of the street. By letting go of this baggage, I am able to focus on the here and now. And with this mindset, I can focus on helping, servicing, and inspiring others. That is part of my purpose for being here and the more I block that off, the more self-involved and destructive I am with myself.”
“Secrets have an ability to give some this illusion of control and a small high. There is a power play involved with secrets. I experienced this first hand. I hid my addictions and destructive from most people. At the time I thought it was normal. I didn’t realize a life without secrets was an option. So when I let go of my addictions, I couldn’t hide anymore. And with this, I don’t carry that shame, regret, or disappointment in myself. I can show up and take ownership over my life now.”
“Relationships can be tricky. This is true for anyone. In the past it was never about fully being there for another person. It was always about what could I get from that person to fill the void I felt within. I needed that validation and since I wasn’t getting it from within, I turned to everything outside of myself. Ultimately, that didn’t work. I can now have authentic and intimate relationships with others. This means addressing my needs and desires and instead of holding onto anger and resentment, speaking my truth. It benefits all involved.”
This blog is based on extracts from Lauren Stahl’s Huffington Post blog entitled ‘Why I Am Open About My Addiction Recovery.’
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