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My Big Secret

If we are honest with ourselves, it will become evident that every human being seeks one thing -- Inner Peace. But how does one find inner peace?

Here is my story:

There was nothing I feared more than anyone discovering my big secret. My secret; there was a single reason for my addiction—I didn’t like who I thought I was. Substances and other behaviors only temporarily quieted and soothed the painful messages ruling me since I was a boy, ones with roots in my Mistaken Identity.

I hide this secret by over-compensating my insecurity and unbearable toxic shame by creating the false self, also known as Imposter Syndrome. The trouble with imposter syndrome is that we wage war with ourselves. The battle: I wanted more than anything to know love, peace, and joy as my true nature, but unconsciously my belief whispered, “You are unlovable and not good enough!”

I would be clean for thirty days, then relapse; ninety days, then relapse; six months, then relapse; eleven months, then relapse. Wash, rinse, repeat. I hit bottom after bottom. I completed programs at seven treatment centers, relapsing after each one. I worked through the twelve steps three times with sponsors only to relapse shortly afterward.

My toxic shame whispered that I was a loser who would never recover. It’s no wonder I could not stop the relentless cycle of relapse and could never find the inner peace I so desperately wanted. I knew I had to do something different.

The Missing “Something”

If I continued the same patterns—the same shit, over and over—I would continue to despise who I am and never find peace or lasting recovery. That something different was vulnerability. I had to face my fear and false belief that rejection, criticism, and abandonment would destroy me.

“It is in our vulnerability that our true power resides. If you want to be more powerful in your own life, let your vulnerability show!” ~ Liz McDougall

I had to honestly share all my dark secrets and insecurities with a few compassionate, nonjudgmental people or continue to live in misery. It was that simple and that difficult.

After doing so, I recognized that being vulnerable is the most courageous act of self-love. The more vulnerable I became, the more I was transformed and healed from the inside out.

The antidote too toxic shame is vulnerability. Once I discovered this, my recovery took off, and eventually, I had an awakening through Grace and lost all desire to use, and found the peac

e the world could never give me. The journey was all worth it and today I help others find their peace. We Do Recover!

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