Life from my perspective was a complete tragedy. The only things keeping me from taking my own life at that time, was that it would cause my family so much pain, and this deep sense of knowing that I was going to somehow get out of this shit hole, and create an amazing life for myself.
I was lying on the floor in someone else’s house, crying as though I was a child who had just discovered Santa wasn’t real. Lost, lonely, relapsed, stranded, broken, broke, and confused, were just a few words to describe my state of being at that time. All I could wonder was why I chose to move to California because at that point it felt like the world was trying to tell me my time was up.
At that time, I had just crashed my car, and my plan to travel up north and find a place to live in the Bay area abruptly came to a halt. My destructive thoughts were running rampant, like someone trying to find their phone when they know their crush is waiting for a response. It was hard for me to do anything but pity myself and my circumstances, but I knew I had to keep going. Not in a persevering or heroic way, but because I literally needed to find another place to sleep.
After a copious amount of confusion and angst, I booked my stay at a retreat. Esalen is a retreat on the cliff of Big Sur, with hot springs full of naked people, food for days, and workshops mostly consisting of people who you would picture walking around barefoot with flower crowns, putting sage all over everything, and practicing kundalini yoga before sunrise. I went for a writers workshop in hopes to get out of the writers block I was in. With my insecurities bigger than my belly after a binge, I figured I’d keep my clothes on in the hot springs, get as much out of the food buffet as humanly possible, get out of my writers block, and have a place to sleep for a few more nights as well.
Next thing I know, I’m sitting there on a bench overlooking the ocean, but unable to appreciate its beauty. The sky was as blue as the cloth I would imagine a stork carrying to deliver a baby boy. The water washing up on the rocky shore below me, was crystal clear, like the tears that were rolling down my cheeks. With no home, no car, and resurfaced addictive thoughts and behaviors, I questioned what I had gotten myself into, and how much longer I had left to live if I kept this up. This leap of faith seemed to be turning into a leap of failure.
I felt a pain in my chest so deep and full of sorrow that it couldn’t be ignored. Sitting on the bench, I lifted my gaze and starred out at the magnificent cliffs of Big Sur, and the glistening water of the pacific ocean. With an aching heart, I thought to myself “My heart needs this.” I brought my awareness to the pain and acknowledged its presents without judgement. “Hello pain.” I thought to myself “I need to feel this contrast and pain to evolve and move forward, but I’ve felt you long enough, and you can go.”
The pain instantly vanished. I had caught my brain feeding me these lies that life was awful. It was as if my awareness made my ego flee in disappointment and embarrassment of it’s discovery.
Profound insights and circumstances were taking place, and it was only just the beginning. That night I took out my notepad and wrote “HELP” in bold letters, and closed my eyes as I prayed to the air and fell into slumber. Not soon after opening my eyes the next morning, help is what I got, but not in a way I was expecting.
Shortly after my fourth round of breakfast the next morning, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to survive another episode. I was legitimately scared for my life, and was under the impression that I would surly be rushed to the ER if I tried again. I was hoping that when I asked for help, a mentor would have miraculously come into my life, or I would have mustered the courage and strength to stop because I had enough. I asked for help, and that is what I received in the form of scaring the living daylights out of me, and causing my body to start falling apart.
After that, I stopped my addictive behaviors with my newfound determination. I’m sure the fact that I thought I would be dead soon otherwise contributed to the change as well. Wasn’t really the way I wanted to go out. I knew I came out to California to find more of what my heart needs to evolve and become a better version of myself, not to have my heart stop entirely. That being said, the destructive thoughts and behaviors didn’t end there. This was only the beginning of a very long journey of recovery.
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