Throughout our lives we pick up different pieces - experiences, relationships, careers, hobbies - in the hopes that the piece fits and we become one step closer to whole.
But sometimes we pick up pieces where the shape fits but it is obvious when we look at the color and pattern that it isn't supposed to belong there.
Alcohol to take the edge off. Getting drunk by 4pm on a Tuesday. Hooking up with people you don't actually care for just because you're lonely or bored or, truthfully, just desperate to fill that empty spot. Smoking marijuana, snorting cocaine, popping oxycontin, xanax, ativan. Inappropriate behavior that hurts innocent people who didn't even know you a month ago. Forgetting your responsibilities. Disappointing loved ones. But the desire to fill that empty hole with anything you can shove in there takes priority over treating others with respect. With treating yourself with respect.
It takes an incredibly brave person to admit a piece needs to be removed.
It takes courage to say I cannot do this anymore.
It takes every ounce of strength to ask for help getting rid of it.
It is not for the faint of heart to admit that when we look in the mirror we don't even recognize the person staring back.
That things got out of control and you can't even recount how it happened.
That everything you worked hard for in the past six years completely crumbled and was destroyed within three months.
And that you have to start over.
Just like you started over the last time.
And the time before that.
But it's not just chemical addiction that can take us seriously off track. Some people are so scared of dealing with the holes in their soul that they fill it with things that look good but are taken to the extreme... like exercising. That's a good thing, right? But when you're working out so much and so often that you're unable to nurture friendships or get enough sleep or attend family gatherings it's time to acknowledge it isn't the right piece.
Some people like taking care of others. And that is a super noble thing to do. But when your worth is wrapped up in doing everything for your children or your spouse or your boyfriend/girlfriend a red flag is being raised. You cannot change someone. You might be able to influence them but you have no control over whether or not they want to change to be the way you want them to be.
Relationships that are toxic but you don't know how to get out.
Jobs you hate but are convinced this is the best you can do.
The landlord raising the rent again but you feel guilty leaving because they're so nice to you and you know they need the extra income.
Gym memberships you just keep paying on because admitting you don't even like going to the gym makes your feel like a loser.
Look, we all have hurts, habits and hang ups that try to convince us to keep the ill-fitting pieces in our soul but we also know deep down that we aren't meant to live this way: incomplete. Uncomfortable. Feel less than we deserve.
If you're ready to start over and take a step to a new kind of freedom - whether it's your first time or your thirtieth - give Celebrate Recovery a try. Just enter Celebrate Recovery and your city or town in your search bar and find a meeting near you. Most likely, you'll be able to find several meeting places around you throughout the week. Go to however many you need to go to for however long you need to go. I promise it will be one of the most welcoming places you will ever go. And they'll help you take out the pieces that need to be removed and you'll start finding the ones that are supposed to be yours.