Updated: Apr 23, 2020
Dear grammar police,
I am aware that change is not just a verb and that there are many ways to define change.
I was chatting with my younger brother once and he said to me, "You're no longer the same person. You even look different." and to be fair, this is true. I actually do feel and look different in relation to who I was ten years ago. I am certain that I will also feel and look different ten years from today. I believe this is the result of choosing to seek rather than remaining in the darkness of my own shadows.
Surely my shadows exist and there's no getting rid of them, but that does not mean that I am subject to allowing my shadows to overcome me. Instead, I choose to use my shadow self as a tool to grow and evolve - to change. This has been, and still is, a key focus along my personal journey of healing.
I used to think that in order to change the life I was living, I could simply bury the parts of my life that I did not like. What I eventually realized is that I needed to embrace all of those parts in order to experience a healthy transition into the kind of life I would like to live.
For example, abusing alcohol was the norm for me. I went from drinking for fun to "needing" to drink in order to have fun until eventually "needing" to drink to simply cope with my life. My daily routine after completing my work was to start my evening off with a glass of wine - and then another. I remember the loud sound of glass bottles clinking against one another as I rolled my recycling bin out to the curb one Friday morning. I opened the lid and was not happy with what I saw. Within one week, I had consumed nine bottles of wine! Not including the drinks I'd have at a bar once or twice a week, I started to do the math in my head. My money was literally going down the drain and my life had not significantly improved as a result of my drinking.
As I became more conscious of my drinking habits, my entire life began to shift simultaneously. During this transition, I let go of many things that would encourage my inability to drink responsibly. In changing my environment, my life perspective shifted and the most challenging of all, my relationships with others shifted. Painfully, close friendships ended just like the leaves that would change and fall from a tree during Autumn.