Gone are the days I take a pill when feeling sad, tired, angry, or frustrated. My addiction taught me I could only be happy, light, energetic, and upbeat. My healing through the breath however has taught me there is room for BOTH/AND.
I can be both joyful and sad, feel both safe and scared, know both gratitude and grief – BOTH/AND not EITHER/OR.
Life is filled with complications, difficulties, beauty, layers, and nuances. This is the joy of breathing deeply and living fully to experience entirely. We are not meant to numb, silence, bury, deny, or cover up the parts of us we don’t want to feel, know, experience. They are actually messages for us to lean in further and take it all in. There’s healing in feeling the hurt, seeing the struggle, and knowing this moment is hard. But nothing lasts forever and change is always around the corner. We get to BOTH sit with what we are experiencing AND know it will pass, but only if we allow it to.
In the height of my Adderall addiction, anything heavy, hard, or hurtful was met immediately met with me popping a pill to silence what I did not want to deal with. And it definitely quieted what I wanted to neglect and ignore, but it also cut me off from feeling anything else in the process. Furthermore, it never got rid of the emotions. It just buried them for uncovering later.
And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years – uncovering, holding, seeing, and being with both the heavy and the healing emotions inside of me. I no longer am reaching for a pill when my chest tightens, jaw clenches, or stomach churns. Now, I pay attention, lean in, and listen.
I live in a BOTH/AND world, one where feelings, ideas, and experiences are woven with both the simple and complex. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Every inhale is met with an exhale. Every day is followed by the night. And the moon rises as the sun sets.
BOTH/AND not EITHER/OR.