Tag Archives: Love

Part 3: Once a ghost now a butterfly: My journey of recovery

Welcome to Part 3 and the final installment of my journey of recovery, if you haven’t yet read Part 1 and  Part 2 please click on the links and read them first.

So after finally admitting that I was in fact an alcoholic, my life turned into an even bigger roller-coaster! If that is even possible! I have been struggling with posting this part of my journey Despite all the hell that led me to the journey of recovery, recovery at times hasn’t always been pretty. At least the initial years weren’t.

I felt like a 13 year old child that didn’t know how to do anything. The fact that I was a newly promoted Sergeant trying to keep my shit together didn’t help. I took up knitting while attending 12 step meetings. I am not sure why but a lot of the young newly sober women were doing it. I even managed to knit my two dogs fancy little dog coats which they hated and on the first outing in them successfully managed to lose them!

Trying to discover who I was without alcohol was a very painful process. For a time I over indulged in casual sexual relationships and that certainly didn’t bring me any closer to discovering who I was. I look at photos from my early years of recovery and I still see a frightened little girl.

I attended 12 step recovery for the first year but didn’t actually do much about creating a life I wanted and healing my past. My second year of recovery was spent in the Middle East on deployment. Try being a year sober in a war zone. I came home a bloody mess. My third year started badly given I was still trying to understand what had happened in my head while I was in the Middle East but I managed to feel better despite trying to decide if I hated recovery or not.

1930653_38101001420_5048_nMy forth year was horrible. I had left the military and my partner broke up with me at the same time. I returned to live with my family and while I didn’t drink I wasn’t sober by any stretch of the imagination. My head was a bloody mess. Eventually, I got what is called a Sponsor and I worked the 12 steps! My life dramatically changed for the better…. Then I went back to a war zone!

I went to Afghanistan as a civilian and without meetings and a support group I did get twisted. Luckily I moved to Dubai and while I fought hard the internal battle of not wanting to go to a recovery meeting I knew it was positive in my life. My recovery was really good in Dubai and I grew a lot. So when my professional and relationship chapters of my life were done I knew it was time to leave Dubai.

When I returned to Australia 9 months later, I struggled to connect with the recovery program. Ironically this is where I had my first major successes but I no-longer belonged there. For a time I struggled with the fact I no longer wanted to attend meetings because in Dubai and before I had gone to Afghanistan and both in Sydney (where I got sober) and Perth, the other people in recovery became my social circle.

I have connected on a different level with other recovery platforms and thankfully due to the internet I am able to tap into a recovery program that fulfills my spiritual and recovery needs. That is not so say that I won’t reconnect with 12 step recovery when I return to Australia. I see my recovery has an organic life that needs to be nourished and developed. I have some misgivings about 12-step rhetoric but I also fully acknowledge it helped me get to the point I am at now.

With or without 12-step recovery here is the thing I need to tell you about recovery! It is amazing! Once you get through the initial OMG I am going to be boring without drinking, who will love me without drinking, the drink was my lover etc etc life gets amazing! Here is a list of a SMALL snippet of the things I have done sober:

  • Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro
  • Done an IRONMAN
  • Travelled to 50 countries sober (I went back to England and France sober in total I have been to 54 countries – and counting!)
  • I’ve walked the Camino de Santiago – even wrote a book which you can pick up here Camino – Amazon US
  • Run marathons in Dubai and China
  • I’ve added to my tattoo collection – I had 2 when I got sober I now can’t count them!
  • I have an amazing relationship with my Mother!
  • I’m currently studying and preparing to launch a company I have been wanting to for sometime now!
  • I’ve even danced on top of podiums in a Florence nightclub!

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Being sober hasn’t stopped me from having a life. There are only two things in life I cannot do! That is drink and drug. That is it. While there are many other things I choose not to do because they mean I don’t sleep very well; there are only two that would completely destroy all that I have worked to achieve in the last 11 odd years.

I don’t know when the ghost turned into a butterfly but at some point on my recovery journey I decided that I not only liked who I was sober but in fact I loved who I was sober. This woman is fully in love with being an eclectic, gorgeous, feminine, strong, confident and proud woman thriving in recovery.

I can only imagine the craziness and amazing things life has in store for me but one thing is for sure if I continue to follow a spiritual practice and honour that I am thriving in recovery then I won’t miss a second of it. No sitting on the couch wondering why I can’t travel, no waking up next to a guy who’s name I don’t know, no lying to my family and friends. It is going to be a roller-coaster and some things I won’t like but I will be present!

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If you are struggling with addiction of any sort I ask you to not sell yourself short. Seek help be it in the rooms of 12 step programs or elsewhere. Because you are worth living an amazing life!

Blessed Be,
Robyn

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Love: The only label I need

I was tagged in this completely magical video recently and I had to share it with you.

Labels have destroyed so much of the world. Since I left the military and started traveling those labels no longer mean as much to me. I have seen kindness and love from my fellow humans all over the world.

I no longer care the colour of your skin, your religion or your socio-economic background. I care that you and I are spiritual beings having a human experience. Don’t get me wrong I fully appreciate there are bad people in this world but I do not pigeon hole them purely based on race or colour.

The ‘arseholes’ are just that – arseholes. They don’t need a colour or race or religion to stand behind as a reason for being an arsehole. They just are! No matter the label we have given them.

Despite my worldly views and global travels and love of life; my circle of friends is small and those I intensely love is even smaller.

As my beautiful cousin and dear friend said to me recently – ‘I am friends with a select few these days. People that inspire me. (You are one of those) People that give. People that care. People that have chosen to rise above. People that love.’

I have the following labels to I identify with: feminist, veteran, sober alcoholic, endurance athlete, warrior, hippy, gypsy, amazon queen, plant-based, daughter, sister, Australian, vagabond. But mostly I am LOVE!

I love life, running, cycling, my mother, my family, my friends, my adventures, my scars, my interactions with others, my dogged determination to achieve my goals, my tiger balm on sore muscles, your laughter, my laughter, my strength, my powerful body, the eyes of children, the nudge of a puppies nose, my connection with God, the smell of fresh cut grass, roses, tattoos, the colour of the sky, mountains, rivers, food, the sound of birds singing and of course, my hear and soul!

Are you love?

Blessed Be
Robyn xox

Honouring my desire..

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You can’t help but think about LOVE in Bali! Ever since Eat, Pray, Love (both the book and the movie) came out, Bali seemed to be the place to find love. I didn’t come to Bali with the intention of finding love.

In fact the very opposite!

On my last long term travel adventure I meet and fell in love (still not sure if that is the right word) with a charming Catalonian. After meeting on the Camino de Santiago it seemed like a perfect love story. I then continued on my travels around the world! While I was in Cuba it got messy. He wanted to continually talk to me while I was there. Internet is both expensive and difficult to obtain in Cuba so after wasting many hours trying to find it and waiting in lines I was frustrated with him and the machismo culture. He wanted to join me when I got to Mexico but I tried to persuade him to wait till after I had finished a few things I had planned to do.

In the end I got sick of the accusations that I was cheating on him because I didn’t want him to come now but rather later. Instead of doing what my gut told me which was tell him ‘fuck off!’ (sorry for the swearing but it was what I felt), I invited him to join me in Mexico. From the second day I knew I had fallen pregnant and that I really didn’t want anything to do with him.

What a horrible position to be in. Previously, I had meet a great bunch of fellows who inspired me. No I hadn’t meet another man but more a group of women that inspired me and whom I had a lot in common with.

To cut a long story short over the course of the next 6 months in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico (where I had a miscarriage) and Australia we fought and tried to keep it together at the same time. It all looked like our world was great on Facebook but I was miserable. Why I didn’t tell him not to come to Mexico the first time or subsequently to Australia after the miscarriage is beyond me.

In the almost 2 years since then I have been reluctant to open myself up to a relationship. The few times I did date, I got burnt. I have to say that my heart wasn’t really in to finding love but more finding what I desire.

The desire I sought and seek is in relation to my life not necessarily desire in relation to an intimate relationship.

I want to know what makes me giddy with joy, what causes me to stay up late without eating because I am so engrossed that I don’t even think about food.. This will be a tall order given how much I eat.. I want to feel alive! Travel makes me feel alive and that feeling was very much part of my decision to spend nine months traveling.

I have dreams, goals and desires for these months. Including launching a business, publishing my book (finally) and running an ultra-marathon. So when I arrived in Bali I didn’t expect to be confronted with those old feelings of misplaced desire. I wasn’t honouring my desire but rather people pleasing. Thankfully fate intervened and I was back to knowing romantic love or lust wasn’t what I desired.

When the offer was presented, I jumped at the chance to visit a healer. The negative feedback I had heard about the Healer from Eat Pray Love had turned me off though. Same advice for everyone…. Instead of seeing him myself and a fellow female digital nomad went to visit, Cokorda Rai. This 87 year old Balian – Tradition Balinese Healer was a bit of a trip!

At the start we weren’t really sure what the hell was going on. Vera went first and he picked up on a lot of things. I won’t go into her story but she had to lay down while he used what looked like a chopstick to test points on her feet. It looked cool!

Bring on my turn!!!

He and his trainee were fascinated by a tattoo I have between my shoulder blades. It is the Chinese word for Goddess and a celtic symbol for the three phases of a woman: Maiden, Mother, Crone. This tattoo honours my heritage and my feminist values. That said he eventually started applying pressure on my head and some bits hurt like bloody hell. It was here he told me I had a lot of stress from a previous job but because I wasn’t there now it would be better soon! How on earth could he know that I had just finished a contract and was in transition.

Next he placed a finger in both ears and asked me to open then close my mouth! It felt like something exploded in my left ear and then the blast went out the top of my head. I have no idea what happen but I felt calmer and clearer. He didn’t want me to lay down but he gave me a little lecture on following what I truly desire and that would bring my passion back.

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I am a long way off truly knowing just where all my desires lay but one thing is for sure since arriving in Bali I am more enthusiastic about my studies and personal development. Less so enthusiastic about my running, it’s hot, humid and pollution makes it uncomfortable running but I have a goal I want so well it is a case of jogging on!

No doubt over the course of my travels more random and unexplained things will happen but I am looking forward to going inwards to see where my desires really lie and what passion will bring with those desires. Life is a roller-coaster that I am intending to take full advantage off.

What does your heart truly desire?

Blessed Be
Robyn xox