I wish I had come up with those words, but I’m paraphrasing Audre Lorde. The full quote is, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Her words ring so true.
In times of stress and turmoil, we’re told we need to medicate ourselves, instead of freeing ourselves. Instead of taking our place on the front lines of whatever movement we want to create, we’re told to retreat onto our couches and just “rose all day.”
Drinking increased 41% for women during the pandemic. That’s a pretty scary number. It’s what happens when we continue to put ourselves at the bottom of our list.
When I was drinking, I didn’t do anything for myself. Not really. I was too busy trying to keep up a façade of a life that I no longer fit into. I knew something wasn’t right. I felt empty. I couldn’t find anything that filled me with joy.
I tried all the things. Went to seminars. Read self-help books. Tried different exercise programs. Did hot yoga. Got the massages. Had my tarot cards read. Bought some crystals. But in the end it was like putting band-aids on bullet holes. It wasn’t until I started to explore my relationship with alcohol that I started to heal, and to step into the kind of self-care I needed to nurture my soul. Alcohol was slowly killing it.
Exploring your relationship with alcohol is fundamental to your self-preservation. It’s fucking hard. And messy. And will take you to places you never expected. But you’re fighting for your survival, so it isn’t supposed to be easy.
Self-care is now the core of everything I do. It’s the foundation.
I sometimes feel so hesitant in telling others the routines I have in place to support myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. Are they luxuries? Maybe you could look at it that way. Sure, I could be at my desk two hours earlier, but I know I wouldn’t be functioning the same way I do now.
I wake up around 5:00 every morning. I write. I read. I meditate. I move. I paint. I need every single piece – it sets my day in motion, protects my sobriety, and reminds me of who the hell I am and that I’m worth every single minute of attention that I pay to myself.
This is what I need to have in place, I know your routine would look different. It should look different.
I have worked really hard to build a life that supports me. I also have very strong boundaries of what I’ll let in, who I’ll accept into my life. And, I’m not involved in the craziness of consumer culture. Nothing I own is trendy and I don’t replace my décor with every season.
Who gives a fuck has become my rallying cry as I no longer see myself validated by the things that are outside of me.
But none of this self-care as self-preservation would’ve happened if I hadn’t decided to get sober.
If you’re curious about exploring your relationship with alcohol, reach out and book a STRONGER SOBER session, under the WORK WITH ME tab.
I’ve got you!