I remember what it felt like the first time I stepped foot in an AA meeting.
I was there to support the love of my life. The man that had swept me off my feet and inspired me to be better every single day. The same man I sat next to while he gasped for air less than twice a minute while I waited for the paramedics to arrive on the scene and revive him. Five minutes of the most excruciating emotional agony I had ever been through.
He had known as long as he could remember that he was an addict. I was essentially blending in, even though I had never touched anything stronger than pot twice in my whole life aside from the pain meds they gave me for my wisdom teeth that made me vomit in the middle of a family reunion years before. I was confused why it felt like I had waited all my life to step into this room. Why did it feel like I had been aching for this place I never knew existed before now? And stranger yet, I had never struggled with drugs or alcohol, so why was this room engulfing me in waves of warmth?
Many addicts don't even warm up to AA their first time. They often end up leaving and coming back months later to try again because they never gave it a real chance, and their lives become unmanageable. At least that's what many of them say.
I sat down next to him in the circle, and it's as if my soul found its place.
I had never been one for trouble, never skipped a class, stole anything, or fell into the wrong crowd at school. I did a lot of listening sitting in that circle. That's what he had suggested I do. I went to be supportive of his recovery, but what I realized was so much more earth shattering for me.
In that room, they were striving to be better every single day, than the last.
In that room, they sought to help other people to fulfill own shortcomings.
In that room, those people knew what it was like to fail. Hard. And yet they still persevered.
In that room, they took responsibility for their actions regardless of whether or not they intended them.
In that room, they knew that they had to first believe in order to succeed.
In that room, they realized that they were fighting against all odds.
In that room, they realized the world was full of what seemed like preprogramed robots herded by boundaries that were objects of the human mind that every one of them had broken, whether or not they intended to.
In that room, they realized that this was a life or death situation.
In that room, they realized they had to let go of pain, and fear or else it would keep them from succeeding indefinitely.
Was I an addict?
I felt as if they were speaking directly to me.
They shared their pain, and I felt myself thinking, "I've been there, I've felt that. That could have easily been me."
Growing up I struggled with confidence. Not the kind that makes you quiet. The kind that makes you stare at yourself in the mirror and wonder why you're here, and why you matter.
I had never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, although I struggled with body image, and dieting. I had deprived my body of the nutrients it needed to the point of brain fog many times, only to rebound harder mentally and physically. It wasn't until I sought knowledge around the basis of training and nutrition that I was able to wade through the fad diets and bullshit.
I had never been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, although I had avoided situations like riding the bus for years on end because of paralyzing fear, and had constant premonitions of killing myself for no apparent reason wondering if it would really matter to anyone in the end.
Addicts aren't addicts because they use drugs, although many people think so. Addicts know that there is more out there. They can identify that the majority of the world settles, and they refuse to. On the way to finding their "more", and purpose, because they know there is such a thing, they find drugs, and the drugs attempt to steal their light, their purpose, their understanding of the world that so many will never have.
Addiction was and is surfacing all around me, in people that I had spent much of my time with growing up.
Had I once come to a forked road and took the right path where so many of these people had chosen the other direction?
As I launched further and further into being an entrepreneur I wanted MORE.
I wanted to be better every single day. Financially. Spiritually. In every way.
In my mindset work I realized that I had to accept that I had manifested things into my life for sub conscious reasons to teach me things I needed to know, even if I had made the wrong decisions in the process. This meant taking responsibility for things that weren't really my fault, without being too rough on myself.
I had failed many times, and would still in my journey, fail thousands of more, and even if someone had told me, you're going to fail 5,000 more times in your lifetime, it never would have stopped me.
I had realized I wasn't perfect, that I didn't want to be, and that that was part of what made me so interesting.
I realized deep inside books of self development that if I didn't KNOW in my core, deep in my soul that I would succeed, that specific things would come into my life and if I didn't send my intention out into the universe, that the things I wanted would never come. I had to believe long before I saw.
I knew that only 1 percent of businesses would succeed, but I knew in my heart that I was that 1 percent, that I would never quit, because I believed truly and whole heartedly I would make it.
I realized that my level of consciousness was much deeper than that of my family and friends, and that people were enforcing the status quo on levels that made me sick to my stomach. People were running through life with their heads down, totally cool with building other people's dreams instead of their own. I didn't understand.
I knew that believing was the difference between success and death of my business, and ultimately my deeper sense of self.
I had to let go of situations, people, and things in my life again and again in order to move forward. It's as if they weighed me down just like resentment and anger keeps an addict sick.
Had I fallen in love with an addict, because I was an addict?
Was I an addict who became addicted to my own passion and purpose?
Was that even possible?
I leave that up to you.
I believed in my heart and soul I could have been sitting in those chairs for a very different reason.
I believed that those people had merely woken up from the robotic universe to the fact they had a much larger purpose and were scared to seek it out.
I believed that in every addict, there was an entrepreneur afraid to take the first step.
I believed that if they could master sobriety, the could master business, mindset, being the one percent, and not the one percent that just stayed sober, the one percent to make millions and millions of dollars doing what they loved instead of perpetuating someone else's dream.
Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.