I had a really good conversation on Sunday with a group regarding sobriety, speaking our truth, and communicating when you need help.
It made me think about myself because I have an addictive personality and I was hearing behavior patterns that I have. I've learned to control my impulses over the years so they don't become obsessive and unhealthy for me. Also, my choice of addiction wasn't as problematic as drugs or alcohol. I was addicted to working out. I worked out like a crazy woman for several years. I'd start my morning teaching high impact aerobics, from there I'd go to an aerobic class so I could really workout - next to an hour choreographing class, and on to the weight room. Once I was home I'd put in a minimum of 3 hours putting aerobic dance routines together, and then my husband and I would hit the gym together at night for 1-2 hours of a workout. I did this 7 days a week - working out was my drug. It made me not have to think about anything else, I enjoyed it, and it made me feel good. I was told countless times by my fitness cohorts that I needed to cut back. Their main reason was because I was going to burn out before I completed getting my degree in health and fitness, but I didn't see a problem.
I finally came to a tiny realization that I was a bit obsessive when I was in bed sick with the flu, running a high fever, and my body ached from head to toe. All that I could think about and all that I wanted to do was workout. I didn't care if that workout was going to put me in the hospital...I needed that adrenalin rush.
My husband was on a hunting trip that weekend so I called a girlfriend over to watch the kids so I could at least go for a run in the wash. When she saw how sick I was she lectured me on how insane I was and there was no way I could workout. I remember barely being able to lift my head up off the pillow but begging her to let me go. I know this analogy sounds silly when you think of drug or alcohol addiction. My workouts aren't even a close comparison to being addicted to a substance, and I know that me cutting back or quitting working out is nothing in comparison to the fight of getting clean and sober and staying clean and sober. My point is I know how easy it is to get hooked on something and how hard it is to let it go when it's filling a void. I was in college working out because I had to. I would have never thought that my first high impact aerobics class would slowly suck me in and I would birth an unhealthy behavior.
Today looking back I know that I was avoiding thinking about my life. If I thought about it that would mean I would have to dig deep and deal with issues that I was trying to forget. I used/abused working out because it made me forget, made me happy, and I felt good. Isn't that what we all want - to feel good and be happy. Seriously, who really wants to dig deep and have shitty feelings resurface? I didn't!
It wasn't easy accepting my true feelings, forgiving people that caused my pain, or taking ownership of my behavior. Digging deep sucks, but it's necessary for healing. It's like vomiting - you feel better once it's out. But it's still a process after it's out. It takes work and time, and some days you don't want to climb out of bed because of the hurt and the pain. But at the end of it all the reward is peace and freedom from whats been holding you hostage. That my friends is a great feeling and makes it all worth reliving the sadness and hurt. Don't give up the fight - you deserve a healthy and happy life. You're worth it!
Love yourself today, be happy, and be kind!