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Home Let’s Talk Blog: The Monkey on My Back Faith-it Till You Make It

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    Allison Kernan
    Allison Kernan
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    Time for me to switch up my usual story-writing technique and just give you guys the unfiltered version of Ally today. Not to say I’m not authentic in my other posts, but today it’s time to just tell it like it is. P.s. Why am I defending myself? The struggle of a self-esteem/anxiety issue is real, man. Ugh, anyways…

    Have you ever heard of the term, fake-it till you make it?

    As much as I feel as if I do that, it doesn’t sit right with me…

    I’m not faking. I’m not good at faking. Why do I have to fake anything? Why can’t I just be?

    So what is it that I’m feeling? Am I just putting on a good face? Am I simply putting aside my stuff so that I can focus at my task in front of me?

    Or am I practicing faith?

    Yeah, faith. That’s it.

    I’m holding onto the faith that I will get through whatever feeling or situation is at hand. I’m “faithing-it till I make it”

    Today is Wednesday and on Saturday, I will have two years in recovery. This is the longest time that I have ever been able to maintain my recovery since experimenting and abusing substances.

    YAYYYY, right? Well, yeah, but it hasn’t been so “yay” for me lately.

    So as many of you know, The Monkey is my addiction talking. He definitely has a love-hate relationship with anniversaries.

    He loves to use them to try to stop them from even existing.
    He loves to try to convince me that they are not worth celebrating.
    He loves to try to use them as an opportunity to prey on my weaknesses.
    He hates when I celebrate them, he hates when I continue in my recovery. And he hates when I don’t fall.

    Literally for the past few weeks I have been overwhelmed. Someone had told me that it’s really common around the time for a recovery anniversary to be feeling this way. I’m definitely not some singled-out person, but MAN, it’s been difficult.

    Let’s start with school. (pause: I’m already fighting the good fight by staying in school. Ally 1, Monkey 0)

    Since I’m studying to be a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor, take a wild guess of what I learn throughout the day: Drugs. People using drugs. How people use drugs (yes, actual videos and images of people getting high).

    I can either have the perspective of:
    A) Wow I’m so glad that’s not me anymore, I can’t wait to go out there and help people!
    B) I could totally do that and no one would know.

    You guys all know which perspective came from The Monkey right?

    I was able to shake that off. I’m not gunna lie though, it was tough. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN EXTRA DIFFICULT THESE PAST FEW WEEKS. I mean, after watching a video of a young girl shoot up heroin (aka me two years ago), you’d think I would be like eww… but The Monkey, my addiction, wants me to focus on the head nod the girl gets, the way her eyes close as she falls into a world of relaxation and calmness.

    Thank God (really, thank you Jesus) I focused more on the other parts of the video: the part where she couldn’t get a vein, the part where she was dripping with sweat and her hand was shaking when trying to inject because she was in deep withdrawal, the part where she sold her body to purchase the dope, the part where she waited hours for the drug dealer. Those parts kept me sober. (Ally 2, Monkey 0)

    Work has been fine. Work is always great actually. My supervisor snuck a sweet cheering-me-on message on my calendar for me. My co-worker is encouraging me to celebrate. My colleagues are congratulating me. Speeches have been a bit tough. Standing in front of hundreds of people trying to make recovery look happy is difficult when deep inside you have The Monkey screaming at you saying, “YOU AREN’T SH*T!!!!!”

    But remember what I said before, I’m Faithing-it till I make it.

    Social life/home life: My family is the best, they really are. My mom was so empathetic towards me when I told her how much pressure I feel like I’m under. My dad is his usual uplifting spiritual self. My friends are great, the few I have (ew, did you hear that passive aggressive complaining I just did, smh!). Not gunna lie, I’ve been a hibernating bear lately. But I like to call it self-care. Cozied up in my super cozy-themed room watching a show with snacks (specifically Smartfood Popcorn falling into my shirt) and my furry son Pete, is literally the best.

    But, I’ve definitely been extra cranky. Definitely snappy. Definitely rude.

    I’m so sorry to anyone I’ve been cancelling plans with and have been snappy and sassy and just straight up evil towards.

    Well, phew, that was quite the venting paragraphs.

    If you skipped over a lot, here’s where you want to pick back up.

    Those moments I’m feeling: overwhelmed, agitated, hateful, pressured, not good enough, worthless, useless, hopeless, and filled with sorrow…

    I have to stop and think, “is this from God?”

    It isn’t.

    But God, I feel like this because blah blah blah blah blah”

    Again, no matter how justified I am in a worldly sense of my feeling, God’s not giving me that.

    He may allow it, but, what the enemy meant for evil, God allowed for good. (Genesis 50:20)

    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

    “But God WHYYYYYY why do I have to feel like this?! It’s overwhelming, I can’t do it, I’m going to break” – said me, billions of times.

    Because no matter what, God is always good. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The same “good God” that I claimed He was when He lifted me up, held me tight, grasped my hand to guide me, and blessed me with recovery (and a job, school, family, food, shelter, etc) ….

    Is the same “good God” that is allowing me to go through this trial, this temptation, this discouragement. When I am weak, He is strong. “Greater is He in me than in the World” (1 John 4:4)

    But how do I see His goodness, when I’m being proud by being selfish and consumed with my own stuff, struggling to get through even just the seconds of the day?

    Faith, humility.

    (and sometimes mixed with some of my stubbornness because I’m not perfect)

    God allows storms in our lives for so many reasons. Some we may never know, but some become known in ways we would never have imagined.

    I never thought that my addiction and all the pain that came along with it, was going to happen to me so that I can help someone else.

    I have to remember that these feelings that I hold onto don’t need to be stuck on me. I can give them to God and hold onto the faith that He will get me through them.

    I thank God that He always, always gets me through every temptation, trial, barrier, and harmful feelings. He’s in the healing business, not hurting.

    So as my two year anniversary is a few days away, I’m gunna continue to faith-it till I make it, because that’s truth, that authenticity.

    Faking something doesn’t seem right, because you are really doing it, even if it’s just externally or even internally.

    No matter how many different ways my addiction tries to stop my anniversary, recovery has a different plan.

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    Hebrews 11:1

     

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