Alison's Insights

Accepting Mid-Life Addiction Recovery One Slow Deep Breath At A Time

Turning Point: A Beginning or An End?

Have you stood at a turning point in life and wondered how you got there? At this stage haven’t we experienced enough of life to instinctively know which way is best? Why, after so many breathing hours, do we feel utterly paralyzed when in that spot of uncertain decision-making?

If you’re anything life me turning points are where I’m asked to ready myself for the end of one thing to begin something new.  Truth is, I’m not a big fan of ending what I thought was working for me nor do I welcome the start of something new because I don’t like uncertainty and change.

However when I stood at my most significant turning points I was acutely aware they showed up to save my life.

I had to end the way in which I was leading my everyday in order to assure there would be another one.

Let me explain.

Thirteen years ago just after the morning sun rose, I sat alone in my bedroom with a glass of wine in hand wondering if my husband’s request I be gone when he got home was for real. I stood up, walked to the bathroom, looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize what I saw in the glass.

I was at a powerful turning point.  I needed to either continue down the deceitful path as an active alcoholic and lose everything emotionally important to me, or turn the other way and get the help I couldn’t give myself.

I turned down the path of help and didn’t look back.  I chose to end what I feared I couldn’t do without to begin what I feared I could not do.

Six years later after decades of struggling with food and body image issues I walked past another piece of glass reflecting back a woman I couldn’t comprehend as me.  In that instant I woke up to how the nutritional choices I’d made (or lack thereof) year after year had taken a tremendous toll.

I was at another equally powerful turning point.  Either try to un-see what I saw or become willing to do the work I intuitively knew was necessary to get well.

My life today proves I chose wisely.

However life doesn’t stop placing me at turning points just because I made a few right turns!

Each day there’s opportunity for me to choose to condemn rather than praise, fester in resentment rather than accept situations for what they are, make assumptions rather than ask pertinent questions, or worse turn my head to what needs my attention.

I’ve learned the changes I need to live authentically won’t occur if I wobble with trepidation and fear down a new path.  I need to remain willing to keep going because if I do, change willingly comes toward me.

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A Moment to Breathe….

Are you standing at a turning point in your life?  Are you resisting a decision that scares you?  What’s holding you back?  Just for today maybe you cease analyzing, projecting and fearing what lies ahead long enough to realize why you’re standing at the turning point in the first place.  Is there something you need to learn where you stand?  Often by acknowledging what keeps us stuck is the very thing we need to get unstuck! Feel free to leave a comment here or share via your favorite social media network.

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6 thoughts on “Turning Point: A Beginning or An End?

  1. I really enjoyed the clarity of the message. I am at another turning point in my life, and I don’t always see the directions in front of me. Your article is exactly what I needed to read.

    • Hi Bari,

      I’m so glad my words resonated with you!

      Sometimes if we knew the directions or where our path will we may fall back out of fear and uncertainty. That’s why I’m constantly reminding myself I’m far better off trusting my inner voice because that’s where my truth lies.

      I look forward to you sharing more of your insights as I share mine!

  2. Again, the statement that “the teacher appears when the student is ready” comes to light.. been really struggling that even tho i can get clean and sober for 5+ years now, my eating disorder remains fully intact and more disruptive than ever…and i have followed and taken the what i thought were diff roads in my life for recovery from this e.d. but it really just led me right back to where i started….so very unsure of any road now at this stage of my life…

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for having the courage to share where you are right now. First of all, the mere fact you’ve acknowledged your frustration is a major step. You could easily dismiss the issues believing you’re “fine”, better known as, “Feelings I’m Not Expressing.” However my sense is, the many lessons you’ve learned along the way in sobriety is assisting you with this level of honesty.

      I completely relate with you about the eating disorder behaviors escalating when sobriety set in. I too thought if I could get sober, why couldn’t I navigate the same with an eating disorder. For me, that statement is what kept me stuck. The mere idea I alone could somehow get myself unwound from the unhealthy behaviors associated with an eating disorder is equally as untrue as I alone could get myself sober. I finally realized I could not solve my problems with the same mind that created them! Recovery is a WE program regardless of the struggle.

      My gentle suggestion is to seek guidance to overcome the silent battles you’re trying to fight alone. Many resources are available focused 100% on supporting you no matter where you are on your path of eating disorder recovery.

      Here are a few:
      (1) MentorCONNECT(http://www.mentorconnect-ed.org) is a password protected, online eating disorder mentoring community
      (2) National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/) has resources for local support where you live
      (3) The BE Program (http://www.thebeprogram.com/) is a community of women seeking positive solutions for food and body image issues

      Remember, all you need to do is focus on today. Personally, a day even seemed too long so I focused on the next hour. I thought of what I needed to do within that hour to stay sober and healthy.

      Please stay on your path, ask for help when you need help and most importantly, remember you are NOT alone.

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