“Eventually, the time came to sort through my old clothes that Dad had stored in his garage for me. Looking at them through new eyes was thoroughly shocking. I might as well have just raided the closet of an anorexic stripper…

There was little there of any use at all, so most of it needed to be dispatched straight to the second-hand shop as soon as humanly possible, and preferably under the cover of night…” from The Wild Side by Janet Balcombe.

It sounds funny, but this process we go through when transitioning from our old lives of addiction and taking our first tentative steps into the unknown are actually really terrifying. We have no money and often mountains of debt and simply cannot go out and buy new clothes for our new life.

The terrifying part is… “What do I even like? Who am I now?” That was a real fear. My heart was banging painfully in my chest. Has my entire existence and identity been a lie? What do you do with that? It’s good to just stop. Breathe. Cut yourself slack to be ok with “I don’t know yet. I need time.” Just like the butterfly needs time to take its first breaths, dry its wings, and become strong enough to fly. Then it realizes it is no longer an earth-bound larva but a stunning butterfly with the heavens to call home.

As I took my old clothes to the second-hand shop I thanked God for the second chance and asked Him to show me who I really was (and had been the whole time), and what the hell I was here for. And He did. God will tell you, too. Just ask.

To hear more, check out my podcast, Back From the Abyss
Peace out, Janet xox



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