I define me, and this is ME.

The thing about choosing to heal is that as you do, people will leave your life. 
I know this sounds contradictory, but I assure you it is true.
Healing, truly healing, is a path few can take in a lifetime. Some traumas are nestled too deep. Some die before they reach that point. Some simply have no desire to even try. For those that do, it is messy. Growth is messy. And the relationships that may have existed and benefited pre-healing, will not always continue to serve us into our next chapter. All relationships end eventually. It's a hard fact of life. The best approach to this is to accept what happens. There are many ways this will occur. You may easily drift a part, you may be slammed with hurt feelings over you not meeting certain expectations, you may be accused of being someone or something other than who you are, or a life will end. And while it's acceptable to own where your healing path may have impacted others, it is not okay to compromise your authenticity to deal with someone else's bullshit. If it's not your circus, those monkeys aren't yours to reign in. Walk away, head held high, and repeat to yourself as many times as you need to who you really are.

I wrote this exact post some 7 months ago. 1 month after I published my last blog post. Right after losing friends that were as close as family to me. People I loved and cherished deeply. Both had been an integral part of my sobriety journey in the beginning. One, led me through the steps needed to fully embrace a life of recovery from all my addictions. The other, a brother and soul friend that taught me to see beyond the obvious, and that hope is always with me if I choose it. I firmly believe that both of these people changed my life, they were part of the mission to save Jessica from herself. For over a year our relationships grew, in different ways. They became the family I needed at that point. They carried me when I couldn't even crawl, and taught me to laugh and love again. 

And then one day they left. I was told that I was the reason our relationships were ending. I was too much, I was labeled, I was accused. Neither told me how they felt, just how I was wrong. I did my best to understand my role and make amends, but that is not what was wanted of me. I simply did not belong, I had outgrown these beautiful humans that claimed they cared for me. I have spent months grieving this loss. Months questioning whether their excuses and reasons bore any semblance to truth. I have isolated and allowed my healing path to stall in places. Fear has won, over and over again. This loss, this facing my biggest fear: rejection; it broke me. I cannot deny that anymore. I will not pretend. The biggest loss was that I loved, and so the pain that followed was deep and aching. The only way to heal was to take the time to do so.

When we begin healing, we will lose just as much as we gain.
No one tells you this. No one really wants to say it out loud.
Not everyone can heal, not everyone's path is the same, nothing remains the same.

Now let me tell you what losing those friends gave me...
It allowed true healing to begin between me and my partner. It triggered pain I didn't know I was carrying and could now face in therapy. It taught me that no one could define me but me, and that sometimes other people will lay their pain on you so they don't have to carry it. It showed me that I will be too much for some people, too little for others, and just right for many. I accepted that I do not have to settle. I had to go through grief to come to the here and now, finally seeing myself for all I am. It was the final chapter for loving myself. 

I spent many hours on trails reciting the following list in some form or another until I started to believe it. I defined myself so others could not. I let go. I forgave. I healed. And I am still healing. Here is my list, but I invite you to make your own. You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself.

I am Jessica Lee Groves.
I am a woman.
I am a writer.
I am a mother.
I am a runner.
I am a friend.
I am a business owner.
I am a partner.
I am a lover.
I am a teacher.
I am a sister.
I am a PhD.
I am a daughter.
I am a scientist.
I am a mover.
I am strong.
I am resilient.
I am brilliant.
I am beautiful.
I am silly.
I am intelligent.
I am authentic.
I am vulnerable.
I am honest.
I am safe.
I am whole.
I am healing.
I am sober.

I am certain I could come up with more, but you get the idea. Know thyself, love. Reclaim your voice. And for fuck's sake, don't let anyone take it away because they cannot heal. That's on them, not you. It took me over two decades to reclaim my voice, and I am proud of the woman I am. 
I am not perfect, but I am kind and compassionate and loving. And that is a helluva lot.

Blessed be to the one's healing, and peace to those who cannot.
~Dr. Jessica



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