Written by Tamar Medford
Have you reached a point in your life where you thought, “WTF! I can’t take this anymore!” Unfortunately, it takes most of us to reach that point before we’re willing enough to make the change required to release the stress, tension, and frustration that goes along with hitting our breaking point.
Why is it that we can’t stop repeating the same mistakes over and over and expecting different results? Why has stress become such a normal part of our daily lives? Why don't we do something about it sooner?
We continue to do things like hiding the secrets we think people will judge or shame us for, do what society tells us is “best” and settle for a life that doesn’t fulfill us! We turn to fad diets, and quick fixes and deprive ourselves just to experience a short-term reward that we think will lead us to a long-term solution.
I can’t tell you how many times I told myself that if I only lost forty pounds quickly that it would motivate me enough to want to live a healthy lifestyle, forever. I would tell myself that this would be the last time I would do a low carb diet, a juice cleanse or eliminate all sugar. We trudge this journey of shame, deprivation, and quick fixes, then find ourselves right back to where we started before finding what we thought was the solution to all of our problems.
We remain in relationships that don’t serve us, hoping that if we please the other person enough, just maybe they will one day meet our expectations. Or even worse we have an amazing partner and as soon as the honeymoon period is over, we grow distant and find comfort in the arms of someone else to have our emotional needs met instead of expressing them to our partner. (I’ve experienced both sides of this scenario.)
What I have learned since getting sober, becoming vulnerable, and always striving to learn more about myself is that to open our hearts and love more deeply we MUST first turn inwards and love ourselves. We can’t give what we haven’t got. I also had to start getting real honest about who I was and how I felt because hiding my secrets caused a lot of the unhealthy behaviors and patterns I desperately wanted to get rid of.
At the age of fourteen, I turned to drugs and alcohol. This began the journey of avoiding my truth. I started to suppress my feelings because I grew up in that “suck it up” world where showing your emotions was a sign of weakness. The reality was that I drank because of my inability to handle my emotions. I was uncomfortable in my skin, terribly shy and not only was I crushing on boys back then, but I was also crushing on girls. (A secret I would keep locked up tight for the next 32 years!)
My secret around being attracted to women I’m sure contributed to wanting to numb my feelings with alcohol and drugs at an early age. I felt like I couldn’t be myself in fear of what others would think. This makes me sad because how many others have turned to something to numb their feelings because they too have felt they would be shamed for sharing their truth.
Your drug of choice might be food, sex, gambling, shopping, social media, or even thrill-seeking activities. When we hit the point of, “WTF, Now What?!” we often turn to something that will allow us to escape. At least that was my experience.
If there was a way to feel understood, fulfilled, and heard in your relationship without having to change your partner would you want to know about it?
If you could share your deepest darkest secrets with someone without the fear of judgment or shame, would you?
If you could release unwanted weight without depriving yourself would you do it?
If there was a way to wake up every day knowing what the f*ck you want out of life and how to get it would you want it?
So many people I talk to have no idea what they want out of life or even if they do, they have no idea how to get it. I used to be one of those people. I woke up every morning doing the same thing…settling for a life I thought would eventually make me happy. Sadly, doing all the “things” we’re society tells us we’re supposed to do didn’t make me happy at all.
Well, there is a way to wake up excited again and it’s pretty simple…not easy but simple. Here are a few of the things I have done in my own life.
Discover your purpose - Give yourself a reason to wake up in the morning. Discover what gets you excited and do more of it. There are also health benefits to discovering your purpose including increased wellbeing, increased resilience, and decreased ill-being. Not only that but when you start doing what you love you tend to show up better for those around you so it’s a win-win!
Develop a Mindfulness practice - Learn to be present in the moment. Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future brings more stress and anxiety. Why focus on the things you have no control over anyways! Learning to be in the moment can help alleviate a lot of unwanted stress and adding a meditation practice to your daily routine can help you become more mindful.
Get honest with yourself - We are as sick as our secrets...I heard this in early sobriety, and it resonated with me. It’s a terrible feeling when we feel we must hide something. When we don’t allow ourselves to be authentic it can harm us in so many ways. Now I’m not saying we have to share everything with the world, but we don’t have to carry the shame from our past. Surround yourself with those who give you a safe space to be you! Find your community.
And as for that secret I mentioned above… Wow, did that feel good to get out! There is so much freedom in not having to hide who you truly are no matter what that looks like.
Do you have secrets you need to get off your chest or maybe you’re looking for some new friends? Come hang out with me in the community!
Did you know we have a Masterclass to help you overcome these challenges?
Are you thinking...WTF...Now What? Check out our Overcome Obsessive Bad Habits Masterclass.
With over 35 years of continuous sobriety Tamar Medford & Lane Kennedy teach sober women over 40 how to feel ten years younger, do what they love everyday and live their best lives. Discover how you can create your dream life through mindfulness, meditation, science and spirituality.