I am a living amends to my family and myself.

It started at a very young age…the self-loathing. Since I can remember I never felt good enough and I didn’t have a lot of reason to think otherwise. I was teased and bullied because I was overweight, I moved a lot, I was poor and my father didn’t want to be around.

I didn’t have the support as a child to build a foundation of confidence either. I didn’t receive the “atta boys” a child needs to cultivate self-love; much to the contrary in fact, I heard a lot of “if you only lost a few pounds you’d be so pretty”, or “behave like a lady”, and even “you’re an embarrassment” from people closest to me. I’m not placing blame, I chose to agree with the things I heard. We create our own reality, and the agreements I made with myself at such a young age sculpted the woman I would become.

For so many years I tolerated disrespect, hurtful relationships and verbal abuse, because I thought that’s who I was. I thought that’s all someone like me deserved. The truth is my world was responding to who I believed I was.

As I got older I started to numb the pain with drugs and alcohol and the self-sabotage got worse. It started expanding to the people around me and soon I was hurting the people that loved me the most. I didn’t hurt them on purpose, I just didn’t realize how much they loved me. I had never felt that amount of love for myself, so how could I understand what it felt like to see my self-destruction through their eyes?

I put my family and friends through so much pain.

I was that mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend that didn’t care who my behavior was affecting. I put my sister and mother through the fear of losing me at my own hand. I stood my son up for mothers day dates and neglected him during his most important years. I ignored their cries.

I manipulated people into helping me slowly kill myself because I knew they loved me enough to do what I wanted. I did that until they couldn’t do it anymore. I lost the most important relationships in my life in my disease and all because I hated myself. All because of those agreements I made with myself.

I came into the rooms of AA because I didn’t want to die, but I gained so much more than another day of breathe.

I never expected to find so much beauty in life, but it got harder before it got easier. As my head started to clear, I started to see how badly I had hurt my family. Putting that shame on top of the mound of hatred I already had for myself made me feel even worse. It broke me down, but that’s exactly what I needed…humility is a bitch.

Even though it was scary, I started to get honest with myself about my actions and the intentions behind them.

I questioned every thought that popped in my head and if I didn’t trust my own thinking (which was most of the time) I reached out to the women close to me. Getting brutally honest with myself, and other women, about my delusional thinking was the foundation from which I built my new life.

When I began make amends to the people I hurt I slowly started to like the woman I was becoming. I stepped out of my comfort zone on a daily basis and began to see things differently. I let go, I let God and I trusted the process. I started to make decisions based on integrity instead of selfishness and my life started to get better.

The more time passed the more I started to see myself through the eyes of the people who loved me unconditionally. The more I worked on myself the more I liked myself. The more I liked myself the more I wanted to work on myself. I don’t know when the miracle happened, it just did.

Through the process of my spiritual awaking I’ve been able to forgive myself.

Forgive myself for not thinking I deserved better, for hurting the people I loved and for not loving myself. Today I realize I have to take care of myself. I have a bigger purpose and how can I inspire and help others if I’m drowning in my own self-loathing?

It’s not always easy and I’m not perfect at it, but that’s okay. I’m not supposed to be perfect, I’m supposed to be me.

I’m still a bit reserved and sometimes I fear rejection. It takes me a minute to warm up and let people in, but it’s about progress not perfection. If I feel myself start to hide I push through the fear and I don’t make excuses for that behavior anymore. Instead of isolating, or living in self-pity, I reach out to my friends, I help someone in need and sometimes I write about it. I know if I don’t take action I risk losing the woman I’ve become and today feels too good to ever go back to that life.

Today I am a living amends to myself and my family.

I wake up everyday and remind myself that today is the best day of my life. I focus on looking for the inner nobility in others and I try to carry that with me throughout the day. I try to be compassionate to others and help people whenever I can. Then, at the end of the day I do an honest daily inventory. Was I the best version of myself today? Where could I have been more kind or mindful of others? Where could I have been more kind to myself?

Today, I’m grateful for everyone I come into contact with because every person and every situation is an opportunity for growth and learning. I live a daily amends to myself and my family by trying to be a better version of myself today then I was yesterday.