I remember in early sobriety hearing something about how people begin to trust us more when we’re sober.
I didn’t really understand that — or I thought it didn’t really apply to me — because everyone has always trusted me a great deal. I didn’t have one of those everything-is-falling-apart lives due to my drinking. I was what is called a high-functioning power-drinker. I built my empire on vodka and no sleep. Work hard, play hard. I hadn’t broken promises; I had only broken my iPhone by going swimming with it. Trust wasn’t a problem.
But what these three years of sobriety have taught me — one of a bajilliondy things these three years of sobriety have taught me — is that it wasn’t trust I’d broken with others that was shifting! It was trust in myself.
Every promise I had ever made to myself — to be my best self, to be fully present for whatever was happening in my life, to be on my own damn side for a change — had, at some point, been broken. Because it was easier to escape, easier to medicate, easier to overwork or overdrink or overthink rather than to ever ever ever FEEL.
And as my sobriety has forced me to be fully present for every single one of life’s experiences in these three years — I’ve noticed my belief in myself growing. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always been confident. I just also always had this low-grade anxiety, this ridiculously cruel inner critic, this insanely high bar set for all my DOINGS in life… and it all felt normal.
When I began feeling my feelings fully — because there was no longer an escape available to me when I didn’t want to deal with the more confronting feelings life’s journey would present — I realized I was conflating all my DOINGS with the enoughness inherent in BEING. Like… if only I did enough, gave enough, worked enough, created enough… I could somehow FEEL as though I am enough. Enough to be worthy of love and success and happiness.
Because I didn’t really GET that there’s no amount of DOING that will outrun a resting state of low enoughness. Early in sobriety, I was still chasing achievement or compromising my boundaries or looking for ways to DO enough to feel as though I deserved how good I was beginning to feel in my body. As if we aren’t all born deserving to feel at home in our own skin. As if we somehow must EARN the right to have everything feel OKAY in our lives.
As a part of the deep mind-body healing journey I’ve been on since early 2018, I’ve cultivated a sense of stillness, of quiet, of deep listening, of unfuckwithable enoughness. And I realize as I celebrate my sober anniversary that it’s the trust I’ve built within — that I WILL show up for myself, that I WILL NOT diminish my own self-worth, that I WILL be on my own damn side in every choice I make and every bit of self-talk in which I engage — that has made the difference.
I didn’t spend decades letting others down; I let myself down. I put everyone else first and still couldn’t do enough to feel as though I deserved all the best in life. Because there is NO amount of DOING that will eclipse low enoughness about our BEING state.
I so get this now. And through my work with creatives like you, I’ve learned it doesn’t take long for this a-ha to land. What it takes to STICK, however, is a daily renewal of commitment to self-love, self-care, self-talk from a place of grace and support. Just like healthy relationships are managed, just like a healthy body is managed, just like a healthy bank balance is managed… enoughness is managed.
I freakin’ love having figured this all out. It feels like the coolest superpower ever excavated! But make no mistake — this is confronting work! Let’s be clear: It’s easier to numb out. It’s easier to check out. It’s easier to dope up. It’s easier to continue to have no boundaries, perfectionist-level requirements for success, self-talk that you would NEVER let someone else say to your best friend. It’s EASIER to try and fill the hole in ourselves with anything outside of ourselves. And capitalism + the patriarchy + momentum will provide a shit-ton of opportunities to sustain that shitty relationship with ourselves.
~ Self-hate is socially acceptable.
~ Self-love is confronting.
Because it’s a reminder to everyone else’s low enoughness that there IS another way. And that is confronting information.
If you’re ready to dig in on this a bit with me, join in today’s livestream (at Facebook, YouTube, or Periscope and/or Twitter). Hop on your favorite stream at 12pm PDT Tuesday and we’ll dig in on how best to confront confronting work! And of course, you can help me celebrate three years sober a few hours early! 🙂 [REPLAY BELOW]
Ah, there’s something so delightful about consistently showing up for yourself in the fullest way possible. It feels unlike anything available on the outside and it has benefits that extend so very far beyond the inside!
Share your thoughts with me on all of this below! And if you’d like a self-care contract to help you get started with this work, here’s one from my brilliant Expansive Capacity mind-body mastermind group. Use it! 🙂 And if you’re alumni, apply to join us for November’s deep-dive on Your Relationship with Self-Care (just in time for the holidays and all that boundary-setting you’re gonna need). Not yet alumni? Enroll in our one-day intensive coming up next month! We have a few slots left and I cannot wait to jam with you!
All right lovelies, thank you for celebrating with me! 🙂 I’m only just getting started and it’s feeling pretty awesome to have such a spectacular foundation from which to grow. I wish you all the unfuckwithable enoughness you’re capable of aligning with, when you’re ready for the work of it. Like everything… the work is — and YOU are — so worth it.
So much love flowing your way,
Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.
Congrats on Three Years!
I’d join you for your Livestream today, but I’m in tech week for a play opening this Friday. (It’s at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, please come if you can!) As I think you know, I’ve been doing the sober thing for a long time now. (21 yrs) I’m thrilled that you’re on the journey! I can often be found at a place on Sundays people call “3&G.”
Congrats on the show and thank you for the support! 🙂
Happy Earthday Burthday Bonnie! A friend told me when I got sober I would feel better…I’d feel pain, sorrow, envy, futility, all much better. Of course I also feel the enoughness you talk about as well as usefulness, joy, fulfillment, and most important, serenity, among countless other “feels”. <3
Alllllll the feels! 🙂 No doubt!
CONGRATULATIONS BONNIE!!!!!! <3 <3 <3
So much love flowing your way!! You are such an amazing inspiration!!!
Congratulations, Bonnie ! And thank you for this post, because it has cracked open the most difficult enoughness issue I have: my body and good. Difficult because it is the most legal of drugs. As symbolizes love and caring – in my world, anyway. It is also the perfect way to hide, to bury myself and all my sensitivity, my naive wonder, and belief in the magic of the world. You know, I have not been able to progress beyond the bottom level of my hygiene triangle regarding good and my body. Now I am clear why. It has been my fortress and comfort and defense and protection. It has also been my crabby hard shell, letting everyone know they should back the F up. I push away the things I crave: attention and recognition and the sometimes naive demands for more.
Feels like Mt. Vesuvius just got some pressure relief! Wow!
So glad to see that pressure letting up. For SURE, when something as simple as food becomes so very complicated because of HOW MANY different roles it’s filling in our lives, it’s a bit of a tangle to undo before the work can really get going! You’ve got this!
🤣🤣🤣🤣 what an appropriate typo! That should say “my body and food”!!!
So honest, earnest and inspiring!
CONGRATULATIONS, and thank you for sharing what you’ve learned with us so we can be equally inspired.
Congratulations on 3 Years…and for getting through the Terrible Twos!! It does just keep getting better and better…not necessarily easier but definately better.
Thank you, m’love! I so appreciate your friendship and leadership. XO