Singing myself to Sobriety

by hannah m.
(chicago, il)

My life had become unmanageable and I knew I was at a pivotal point of change. I found a place to heal and grow. It was a treatment center near my family, full of artistic means to evolve and also had many classes on addiction, codependency, and living presently (to name a few). I saw the light and potential within myself, I had just been so scared, so hurt, and full of such shame for things that had happened to me I couldn't bring myself to grow and glow! So I went to a 30 day program.

The time I spent there was unlike anything I have ever done. I met beautiful women, learned lessons both spiritually and about my physical being, and found a sacred space in myself to come back to in all times so that I can always be on a healthy path of healing.

One of the most profound moments at the treatment center was when my lodge was throwing a talent show. I had brought my hula hoop and everyone would watch me while they were outside during breaks on the deck. I loved this hula hoop and it made me feel so free even though I wasn't allowed to do much of anything I wanted.

On the day the sign up sheet came out; I fled. People kept asking if I would hula hoop for the show, but I was so scared of messing up I let my fear take me over. Instead of signing up; I sulked in bed. I allowed myself to be taken over by an emotion and it affected me in ways I never had realized! My whole body yearned to be in the talent show; to express myself openly and with love to these women with whom I"d shared so many facets of myself.

Mere hours before the talent show began I took a couple deep breaths, centering myself in the now. I asked for the words to an Otis Redding song and sang to myself in my room..

When the show began a friend of mine opened with a joke and then everyone sat around in anticipation.. Who would go first.

I had a killer outfit on and jumped up, taking over my over sized jacket to reveal my stage presence.
Then, I sang.

I sang Sitting on the Dock of the Bay. I let people join in if they wanted. People clapped to the beat and I nearly cried. I remember being so scared at first; all eyes on me. I just let that feeling wash over me and accepted that I could fail. I could mess up. At least I was doing what I loved.

At the end of the song so many people clapped, there was even a standing ovation! I knew if I could perform sober and in the face of such fear; I truly could move mountains. That moment was so huge for me. I knew then and there that I was capable of anything and that my recovery was on track.

My friends afterwords told me how my body language changed, my presence grew. I was so grateful to have people that were non-judgemental and supportive. I don't think those ladies will ever know how big of a deal that was for me, and that is ok. What matters is I fully experienced myself and had the opportunity to creatively share that with people I care about.

I'll keep that moment forever. Purify the world with your light. Allow your voice to vibrate your dreams into reality and love yourself.

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