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We had an event. I was able to stretch my public speaking muscle for the first time since I was a teenager. Recovery Stories Message of Hope pt2. I was given the opportunity to be a recovery story speaker. This meant getting on stage in front of 100+ people in our local recovery community to tell a short story about a pivotal moment in my life, in regards to my recovery from SUD. At first, I was terrified. But after some consulting with my Higher Power, the nerves calmed and I got to step on stage that night with a sense of confidence. In hindsight, I should have asked my Higher Power for help with what I was going to say...but I'm still thankful I was granted that self-confidence.

One thing my life before finding long-term recovery had given me was a lot of social anxiety, avoidance behaviors, and self-doubt. These are things I just don't have room for in my life today. They have been a huge suffering while trying to change back into the extroverted, acceptance-activation, self-confident person I was blossoming into before I invited my struggle with addiction into my life. I have put a lot of effort, with help from my mentor and therapist, over the last year to break these negative traits down. It's been difficult but I can say that standing on this side of the effort put in, it's been totally worth it.

“To get to that next level, you gotta learn to get comfortable being uncomfortable.”— Eric Thomas

Something that I've seen many people struggle with, as well as myself, is sorting through the aftermath of the decisions and lifestyle choices we made while living a life of active addiction. These amends that need to be made when transforming ourselves into healing recoverees can take much more time than we're comfortable with. But, if you ignore organizing the mess that was left in the wake of our active addictions.. You friendzone yourself into becoming stagnant in your healing and recovery. Friendzone being a term most, men at least, reading this will understand. It's more like being comfortzoned, chaining yourself to a territory many people know as being a "dry-drunk".

Now, even though I'm calling my performance on stage a "beautiful disaster", it got me excited to do it again. Maybe not in the same context, but this last year of pushing myself out of this friendzone with comfort has really pushed me to have the capacity to handle more than I had ever thought possible even one year ago. It's exciting. I couldn't have done it without the support I get from the people closest to me AND my own courage to take that little leap of faith into a situation unknown to me. Have I fallen on my face a few times? Yes. Am I happy with where it's led me today? A much bigger YES!!

Don't be afraid to fail. Do yourself the favor of changing your perspective when things start getting stressful. And most of all, don't let yourself stay in that friendzone with comfort. These worked for me.

Until next time.

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