“The lotus flower blooms the most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” – Buddhist Proverb
I grew up with what many would describe as a “normal” childhood. It was nothing too crazy or out of the ordinary. My parents had disagreements, I had a pet that died, I had a fight with my best friend – you know just things that are a part of growing up. I was a straight ‘A’ student, racked up a decent amount of accomplishments on various sports teams, and on the outside, appeared to fit in quite easily.
Yet, on the inside, it was a completely different story. Looking back, I can see how anxiety played a huge part in my life, at a time when it wasn’t acknowledged that kids could actually have anxiety. Into my teen years, I felt even more lost. I was accepted into college, and was more than thrilled to finally be on my own, which to me meant to be free to drink. And even better, college normalized my abnormal drinking. Kegs and eggs were something cool for others, but something necessary for me. When I drank, I felt normal. The incessant tapes that would play in my head simply stopped. I could relax.
It didn’t last.
That’s the thing about addiction. It works until it doesn’t. For me, it wasn’t very long. Compared to many, my drinking career was shorter than most. I bull-dozed through being of legal age to drink to experiencing the health consequences of someone twice my age within a few short years. But I couldn’t give up alcohol – I was 23!
Yet, that’s just what I did. I started from the beginning. I attended regular support groups. I listened to those who managed to stay sober. And most importantly, I started to put myself first. I started to watch what I put in my body, with whom and what I surround myself, and actually paid attention to the inner wisdom that had been there all along.
It was hard at first. This was new territory. But as with everything, it takes time. Living life as it happens is hard work for me. It is in my nature to run, to escape, to change, to feel something different and the only way I was going to get ahead of this was to accept things as they happened, to accept myself as I happened.
Sober, now what?
I had to learn new things. I had to learn new behavior. I had to learn how to just be.
I got my first big job in sobriety. I got married sober. I bought my first house sober. I had my children all in sobriety.
And don’t get me wrong, despite being in recovery for over a decade, it’s not like I don’t ever think about drinking. Sometimes the thought is so appealing, as life can feel overwhelming, I want to escape. Luckily, today I have the tools to see though that thought and know the destruction it would cause in my life. Also, our problems are usually still there no matter where we go. So, for today, I choose sobriety, sanity and health. Not because I am above the temptation, but because I know myself, and I believe in tomorrow.
It IS worth it.
Yes, sobriety – recovery – is worth it. It doesn’t make everything easier, yet there is nothing I can’t handle with the grace, faith and joy I have been given as a result of my recovery. Today, I have very little secrets, or at least none that would crumble me. I don’t owe anyone anything for keeping my secrets, and I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not. I know how to ask for help, and that I can help others. I can apologize for something I’ve done, and it doesn’t mean I am sorry for who I am. Not everyone will like me, and that’s ok. I don’t like everyone either. I can start over at any time. I am not my mistakes, but I can learn from them. I have gained more meaningful, true friendships. They take longer to build, yet are real. I don’t have a right to judge others, but I do have the right to judge for myself whether the actions of others are good for me. And for all of this, I am grateful.
Why The Nourished Seedling
The Nourished Seedling is about nourishing the seed inside all of us – it’s there for the taking. I stopped growing when I started drinking. And when I stopped drinking, I started growing. After graduating college, I went on to earn a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and become a Certified Yoga Teacher. When we give our body, mind, and soul the best foundation, we have the optimal environment to make the most out of every opportunity. The Nourished Seedling is my platform to share the recipes I make to help stay nourished and balanced, and the reflections to help make sense of life as it happens. Despite never thinking it would happen, today, I am grateful for all of the hard times, the thickest mud. And remember, when you are in the thickest and deepest part of the mud, your most beautiful bloom may be just around the corner.
Sarah can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thenourishedseedling
Sarah Galla, M.S., R.Y.T., is the creator of The Nourished Seedling, a website dedicated to the health of the whole being – mind, body and soul, with a special focus on whole food based recipes for kids and families. In addition to being a wife and a mother to 3 uniquely beautiful and smashingly intelligent girls, Sarah is an advocate for recovery and for kindness to one another as well as to the Earth. She is an avid pizza lover, and is not afraid to cry (especially if she runs out of pizza).