How I used self-care as an escape.
Five years ago, my life was in shambles. I had just gone through a breakup with my ex-boyfriend, and I found myself without any money and no job prospects on the horizon. I was stuck in survival mode, trying to navigate through the chaos.
I had just begun my journey into spirituality and healing, and I thought that reading books about it would be enough. It was a good start, but far from sufficient.
Looking back now, I see a version of myself using self-care and the distractions life offered as an escape.
What I was trying to escape:
After the breakup, I avoided sitting with my emotions, avoiding myself, and avoiding thinking about what I needed to do. Going through a breakup is a huge and potentially traumatizing experience. I attempted to numb the emotions with anything I could find because I didn’t know how to handle them.
What I learned over the years is that I needed to love myself first before I could be in a healthy relationship.
How I escaped from reality:
I vividly remember an opportunity that arose during that challenging time—a chance to escape to the Gold Coast for three weeks with some friends. It was a temporary respite, a distraction from the turmoil in my life. During those weeks, I embraced every distraction available to me: daily trips to the beach, long walks, dining out frequently, indulging in more than my fair share of drinks, shopping, and even dating.
But as those three weeks came to an end, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with one of my girlfriends.
I confessed that it was incredibly tough to return to Brisbane, but what was even more daunting was the prospect of going back to my life because, truth be told, nothing had changed. I had simply pretended for those three weeks that my problems didn’t exist.
From that moment forward, I embarked on a journey of self-improvement.
I allowed myself to confront the emotions surrounding the breakup instead of numbing them with distractions. I halted my dating endeavours, realizing that I didn’t need to prove anything to myself through relationships. I gave up excessive drinking to discover the strength and authenticity within me, even when sober. I stopped working out solely for the purpose of being skinny and began focusing on my overall well-being.
When I share my story, people often ask what I did to change. Believe it or not, there is no secret. I needed to rebuild my confidence, and it began with my own words. My words matter. If I do not show up for myself, no one else will.
So, when I decided to stop drinking to numb my emotions, I stayed strong and stuck to it. When I told myself I wouldn’t go shopping when I didn’t have the money or when I was feeling down, I stuck to that too.
The power of my own words and showing up for myself is where it all began. I took ownership of my messy life and rebuilt it.
Living with intentions:
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying I don’t enjoy having a few drinks with friends or my partner. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate a shopping session. I’m not saying I stopped dating.
I stopped doing these things when they were a way to avoid my life.
Everything I do in my life these days is with intention.
I don’t use anything to escape a situation that might make me feel worse afterwards. I do it because I want to, because I’m ready for it, because it makes me happy. And when it’s over, I’m still happy.
Over the course of five years, my life underwent a profound transformation. I learned that true change goes beyond temporary distractions; it involves inner growth and self-acceptance. Now, when I visit the Gold Coast, it’s not just an escape; it’s a celebration of how far I’ve come. I eagerly anticipate returning home, knowing that I’ve embraced positive changes that have enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined back then.
I love reading your stories and comments. Feel free to share them in the comments below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to create new habits or break free from a similar situation, book a free discovery call, and we’ll discuss a personalized action plan for you.
Remember, no matter how challenging life may seem at times, your journey is a testament to your strength and resilience. Embrace each day with intention and self-love. If you’re facing difficulties or want to make positive changes in your life, reach out for support and guidance. You have the power to transform your life and create a future filled with happiness and fulfilment. Let’s embark on this journey together.