Trusting your inner voice “soul’s guidance” during recovery

pills-in-foreground-fruits-in-background💊 A person in recovery from substance abuse is more likely to relapse when they have poor eating habits and do not adopt a self-care routine.  I know this first hand!

The human journey is a culinary dance, in my eyes. It’s a blend of ingredients that each contributes some texture, some flavor, some sort of deepening sensory experience, that together form the way we see ourselves, and our world. We’re all born with some disability or disadvantage. We’re all born with some sort of privilege. All our traumas, sorrows, and challenges are as important to the dish as our victories and delights. What separates the finest cuisine from a dog’s dish? It all has to do with how you use each ingredient!

Although I’ve been legally blind my whole life, I really lost my vision through years of self-destruction. Thoughts, feelings and behaviors that moment by moment made me less of who I really am. Opioid addiction promised me clarity, but shrouded me deeper into darkness. Abusive relationships mirrored my self-loathing, although I was too blind to see the reflection. It wasn’t until I started cooking and adopting healthier whole foods into my diet, and no more processed foods that my vision and ability to start to focus on my recovery really returned.  Little by little step by step, one day after another my mind, body, and spirit started to strengthen, to lift and clarity came into my vision, not through my eyes but through my heart.

This is not my story alone. It’s not just a story about the visually impaired. It’s everyone’s story. It is the darker ingredients of life that blind us, and the passions and desires that light the way.

I had to accept the process of recovery, and it took truly proper nutrition and regular movement to slowly build up to the point that I started to experience more clarity.  When the glimmer of light came into my view, that’s when the momentum started to build, I took it and ran with more certainty that I deserved it! Because I was so close to losing my life and was in hospital twice from an Opiate overdose, I made a difficult conscious decision.  I had to accept and work through whatever I was faced in my recovery journey, I promise  you it wasn’t easy or a quick fix  However what I can promise you is that it’s truly possible and in your power if you are ready to do the work, and accept the process.

There were many, MANY things I had to learn.  There were many times of trial and error, or it just didn’t fit for me. There were many! Many! Different supports and strategies I had to incorporate into my recovery that complemented one another.  It’s not one Dr., it’s not one therapist or approach, it’s not one diet plan, it’s not one support system, it’s not one form of exercise, it’s not just one tool to put into my tool box that works best.  It’s putting many together in creating a kick ass recovery journey that strengthened my success. I also learned that I didn’t have to accept all approaches, ideas or methods that came my way, as they all didn’t either feel right or work best for me.  Because I was so eager to heal and get away from such a destructive addiction, it took time to learn this.  But becoming your own best friend, your own teacher, your own advocate is key, and it was for me. I did what many do when entering recovery, I tried to follow the advice I was given and attended a 12 step meeting as often as I could.  My gut was yelling at me, but I didn’t listen, finding many reasons and rationalizations why I’m wrong to have this feeling.  I would say,

“Oh Orly, not liking it and feeling uncomfortable, is because you want to go back to using.”

“Oh, Orly why are you so weak?”

“Oh Orly, don’t try to talk yourself out of the commitment you’ve promised yourself.”

“Oh Orly, what’s wrong with you?”

For me, dismissing my inner voice, my gut, was Bullshit! And almost led me right back to what was easy and run back to what I knew. However because I already started to put healthier foods into my body and exercise consistently I had more inner vision to gain more clarity.  The 12 step program might work for some, but that approach didn’t work for me.  If I can offer some insight for what worked for me, was to trust my inner voice, my soul which was trying to guide me through the fog.  At first I didn’t understand what was happening.  However, when I started to listen closer to that voice, it became louder and louder.  I realized it wasn’t there to misguide me.  It was there  to take my hand and walk beside me and guide me through some very difficult decisions I’d ever make.

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