EXCERPT FROM MY UPCOMING BOOK WRITE PRAY RECOVER:A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS THROUGH SPIRITUAL SOLUTIONS AND SELF CARE – WENDY BLANCHARD, M.S., CHHC, CPS

STRENGTH FROM WITHIN

During the last seven years of my recovery, I have met with many challenges. These experiences, so often, challenged my physical, emotional, and spiritual strength.

I faced bankruptcy shortly after I began my recovery, directly following my divorce. I felt humiliated. I felt so broken and terrified of the future. My attorney at the time, suggested that I go out and buy as many paper products that I could store in my two bedroom apartment. Seems funny now, but I was so scared that I would not be able to afford toilet paper! Slowly, I built my credit back to good standing. I remained certain, calm, and determined to succeed, always having faith in my ability, and in the Universe to provide for me.

I have lived paycheck to paycheck for the past seven years, after having a life in my marriage of twenty-four years where I was financially sound. However, it was mostly my husband’s earnings that provided for our family. I was too ill and drug addicted to work and contribute to our financial health. Throughout my recovery, I sometimes had as little as $30 left at the end of the month. I had no savings, and worried every day about how I would pay my bills. Yet, I got up every day, went to work, and did a wonderful job as I served my community as a mental health professional and mental health community educator. I took care of myself, ate healthy, exercised, got enough sleep, and stood firmly in my prayer and meditation practice. I used holistic means of relaxation to manage my anxiety such as essential oils, music, writing, exercise, and talk therapy with my life transitions coach, Sheila Pearl. Very recently, after years of hard work, diligence, discipline and determination, I found a new job that affords me financial stability. During these very challenging times, I would become extremely anxious and sometimes very sad as I cried every day due to sadness, frustration and anger at myself, yet, prayed for solutions, and I never gave up. Truthfully, I knew that I was doing the best I could, and that these circumstances were residual from my unhealthy lifestyle during my addiction, and was, in fact, just temporary. I never thought about ending my life as I had in my active addiction, and I never, ever thought about using drugs to self medicate.

I faced a re-diagnosis of Lupus after being in remission for 6 1/2 years, as well as a serious spine/back/leg injury that culminated in my being unable to walk, sit, stand, or lay down without pain. I had to modify my lifestyle, my exercise regimen, and even had to stop wearing “in style” shoes as I had chronic pain in my left leg and back. I still live with chronic pain, but I continue to use a balance of traditional medication (non controlled substances) and holistic health remedies to manage my challenges. In addition, in 2018, I had throat surgery and was told by the specialists that I “would never get through post op without pain meds.” My answer?! “Watch me.” I navigated post op successfully with Motrin, rest, deep breathing, meditation and prayer, lots of water, and antibiotics that were necessary. I returned to work within 10 days of the surgery.

I also faced other losses of relationships with loved ones which I decided to exit realizing the toxicity that they were infusing into my life. I made a conscious decision to cut out anyone from my life that could not respect my boundaries, and whom consistently made unreasonable demands on my time and on my energy. I began to feel so exhausted and so unwell due to these relationships that were causing me constant stress and anxiety, and mindfully walked away from these relationships. We know that toxic relationships cause inflammation on a cellular level. I lived with inflammation due to these types of relationships for decades, and am not willing to expose my body, mind, and spirit to any further toxicity. It is MY choice to be well. If I feel unwell in one’s presence, ongoing, and consistently, I ask myself how I can create a healthful change for my own well being. The answer is always to practice self care and self preservation, no matter who I need to cut from my life.
I have also faced serious illnesses of family members that caused me deep anxiety. These family members, unable to keep themselves healthy in the first place, became demanding on my time and my energy , daily, and sometimes hourly, instructing me to “do it for them.” That is, to talk to the doctors, nurses, social workers, multiple times a day, every day. I would receive hysterical phone calls, and that which were manipulative in nature where threats of suicide were used a bargaining “tool.” I called for help for this family member, multiple times over a matter of months, but she always fell back into a manipulative mindset continuing to bully me for what she wanted, and even refusing to speak to me, something I was very accustomed to with her throughout my life. It was like experiencing a child having a temper tantrum. When that didn’t work, I’d get the cold shoulder, and “woe is me and you are the blame.” I was asked for money that I just did not have available for a member of my immediate family, and then when I was unable to comply, was exposed to weeks of giving me the cold shoulder because I was unable to contribute to their financial needs which have been unstable for decades.
However, through all of this adversity, the Universe constantly reminds me, every day, that everything is going to be alright. The Universe communicates with me on such an intimate level through my meditation practice, through music, through others, and other Divine means where I am certain the information is specifically for me. I am certain that I am being lovingly guided, supported and protected. I practice self care, and co-create my wellness with our loving Universe. I remind myself every day that it is up to me to care for myself, as it is others responsibilities to care for themselves. I do not live in fear of loss of others who are not in alignment with myself and/or the loving Universe. The only thing I fear is losing myself to others agendas who do not serve my best interest or align with my Higher self.

Dust it off. Shake it off. Get up and stand tall. Begin again. Tap into your inner strength and pull yourself up. It is all up to you how you choose to use your strength. Will you allow it to pull you up toward the light where you can clearly see limitless possibilities and sensational solutions? Or will you allow it to pull you down deeper like quicksand, sucking you into the darkness where you remain blinded by your pain and lose your way? Hit your knees, look up, ask for guidance, dig deep, and come back swinging.
You have no idea what you are made of until the candle burns out and you are left to use that tiny little ember to ignite the flame that will light your way. It’s that or rest in pieces in the hollow dark hole. Challenge yourself. When you finally rise up, a little bruised but not broken, you will begin to live. On your feet, taking baby steps in great stride, and arriving at any destination you choose in one beautiful imperfect piece, that glistens with character, and exudes experience built on your own inner strength. Crawl, stand, one foot in front of the other, slowly, purposefully, you ​will​ arrive in your own time. Stand proud and tall.

Please check back on updates for the release of my inspirational story of recovery!

Sat Nam

Love and blessings,

Wendy

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