There are 31 days until LMBG hosts it’s very first event called Survivors Connection, and I am very nervous.

I have a lot of work to do, on myself, to make sure that I am emotionally prepared to host an event designed to help others heal.

When I first started this website I thought I might host a big party with champagne and beautiful clothes, and lovely people, and because that’s of course what I wanted, I was surprised to realize that the first event is going to be a live stream, and I’m really super okay with it.

There is a lot less pressure when you are hosting a live stream even then when you have to worry about staff, volunteers, decorations, and everything else that comes with an event.

A lot of people have been asking me what I am doing to get ready for it, and honestly I’ve been doing a lot. I’ve been cleaning my house, which if you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, is something you know that is very difficult for me.

In part it’s because the construction workers have been coming in and out of my house to work on the window because they are doing the side paneling and apparently taking windows out is a part of the job, which is fine, but it means that I have to actually take time away from LMBG to get the cleaning part done.

I’ve been working so hard on LMBG that it was getting harder and harder to find time to take a break so that I could have some sense of balance in my life and in my home. Taking time away from writing, to clean or organize, is a healthy thing to do, but it’s not easy for me.

When you are in a state of constant depression, you just want to feel better, and when you find something that feels better, it can often become your sole focus, because that is what is making you feel better.

The problem is you can’t focus on just one thing to keep you happy forever, and so I decided to take some time off this weekend, and this week, and get some stuff done around my house. I will admit that it’s been a bit embarrassing having my house be such a huge mess, but I resonate with the fact that the reason that my house was such a mess, was because I’ve been living in a state of serious depression and trauma for so damned long.

In past years I have survived by running away from the mess, but this year I really want to cultivate a space that feels like a home, I want a space that feels like a sanctuary, because I really believe that I deserve to have a sanctuary from the world, or at the very least in the world.

Another part of the reason I wanted to clean my house, was the fact that I am hosting this event, and I want to show people that yes, I am healing. I still say that I am not healed, I still say that I am in recovery, and I am finding this whole process completely fascinating.

Watching other friends that are in drug and alcohol recovery, I am realizing that our experiences are so different, and yet very similar at the same time. They are dealing with some of the same issues that I am, like PTSD, anxiety, trauma experiences etc. They have the added struggle of not reaching for a bottle or a pill, or a needle, when things hurt.

I don’t have that problem. I’m not a fan of being drunk “all” the time, and I am pretty good about making sure that I don’t get drunk or drink, when I am feeling in my feelings.

However that being said, this week I did reach for the bottle. I find that I go through emotional waves where things are good, and sometimes things are not so good because I haven’t been able to talk to another person about how I’m really, REALLY doing.

This week something…really awful happened, and I closed up some relationships, I walked away from some really good people for my own sanity and safety, but I reached for the bottle first…at eleven am.

That has never happened in my life, but once it did I realized that I couldn’t be who these specific people wanted me to be. The moment that I found myself reaching for the bottle and letting myself get completely drunk because I couldn’t deal with the emotions, was the moment I knew that I had to walk away.

For my own safety.

It doesn’t change the fact that walking away hurt, but I know that if I am so emotional that I am reaching for a bottle, I need to make the healthy choice, even if it hurts. I refuse to allow myself to fall into the cracks of addiction. I have seen how many lives addiction can destroy, and I’ve seen how fast it can happen.

It can be the smallest thing that takes you from being a person who enjoys an occasional drink, to someone who can’t live without drugs and alcohol, and that’s not a journey that I am interested in going on. I already know what it looks like, I’ve watched hundreds die from addiction, and I don’t want to be in that world.

I walked away from another person, who tried to emotionally blackmail me into feeling sorry for them, because they stood up for me, and expected that I would “go to war” for them too, and I wasn’t interested.

I had my own stuff on my table and I wasn’t in a place where emotionally I could put my own stuff aside, and help them. It was the way they said it, the blackmail part, “I did this for you, and I expected you’d do the same for me,” and I was sitting here like “I can’t, I’m physically incapable.”

Yesterday was very difficult because I had men in and out of the house all day and you know how much I struggle with being around men, and this person didn’t take into consideration that I was in a full state of anxiety and panic all day yesterday. It wasn’t about “me first”, it was about “dude, me too,” and they refused to understand that I really was emotionally broken yesterday.

I had to prioritize my own sanity and safety over their feelings, and for the first time in my life I refuse to feel guilty, because damnit I shouldn’t have to feel guilty for doing what I need to do, to keep myself emotionally balanced and safe.

I love a lot of people that I am no longer talking to, some from my past, and some from my present, but I am also realizing that I no longer “hate” anyone. I send people from my life with love, and I wish them well. I hope they have many successes, and I regret that I can’t be a part of their journey anymore, but it’s only because I am not headed in the same direction, and that’s okay.

It’s not so much of a struggle for me anymore to say “no, I’m sorry, I can’t go with you, I have to go this way.” And I think those that claim to love me, if they really mean it, will understand.

One day maybe things will be different, but right now, I need to do the things that I have to do to push myself forward, and I won’t be shamed into being less of myself, to make other people feel more comfortable. I just can’t do it….what kind of an example does that send when I am the one telling everyone to be themselves?

I am beautiful, strong, powerful, and wise, I can survive without people who want to stomp on my fire, but I cannot survive with people who want to douse me in water, just so that they can burn brighter.

I am finding my place in the world, and sometimes I take a detour, but I think for the most part I am headed in the right, positive, and healthy direction.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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