Here I am again as another trip around the sun comes to an end while the last few months of 2020 is fast approaching. Yesterday I embraced the beginning of a brand-new trip around the sun.
A new page.
A new chapter in this book called LIFE.
This year has had a million twists and turns and I have found myself slipping into a surreal state of bewilderment on many occasions. I think many of us have.
August 13th is my earthly birthday and I turn 46 years old yesterday. This means that 46 years ago yesterday I experienced the saddest day of my existence, the day I lost my birth mother. Birthdays are difficult for adoptees. If you don’t believe me, check out my friend, David Bohl’s most recent article Happy Birthday Relinquishment Day to Me! I know I’m not alone. I know many other adoptees feel a deep-rooted sorrow on this day. Here’s another article to consider reading – How Adoptees Feel About Birthdays.
I have been celebrating another milestone on my earthly birthday and that is my Rebirth-Day. My Rebirth-Day is my yearly milestone of living an alcohol-free life. I wholeheartedly feel this is the day I truly started living. This is why I’m calling it my Rebirth-Day. 8 years ago, on August 13, 2012 was the last drink of alcohol I had. It just so happens these two “occasions” fall on the same day. Spending a lifetime of running from adoptee pain, my Rebirth-Day is the day I started processing relinquishment trauma, grief, loss, C-PTSD, abandonment, rejection, anger, and rage from my adoption experience FREE FROM ALCOHOL. It’s the day I stopped using alcohol to numb the pain. Not many people can say they have done this without substances of some sort. Adootee pain is SO GREAT! It’s not easy, but my kids have made it worth it.
Even when I have a great reason to celebrate my 8-year milestone, the realities of the BIRTH day still haunt me. To be completely honest, I have been dreading this day all month, even before August gets here. It has taken every bit of strength in me to get out of bed and even be halfway functional. This year has been hard, not just on me but our entire world.
Remaining SOBER through the stresses that have come due to the pandemic and this year has been a challenging feat, to say the least. More and more I am learning how to handle uncomfortable emotions, that I would not process in my old, PRE-REBIRTH-DAY ways. Alcohol was my best friend, in good times and bad for 27 years.
What have I done to live an alcohol-free life for the past year? Besides finding enough strength to pick my face up off the floor on many occasions, there is much more to it for me.
- I have set hella boundaries for myself.
- Be true to me, no matter what.
- I completely removed myself from Adoptionland. It is taken a toll on my mental health, and I can no longer participate.
- I have ended relationships with people who are the type of people who only allow those to sit at their table who believe like them. This is a true gift I have given myself. I will never fit in their box. It is time to move on from these relationships.
- I have listened to my intuition on how people make me feel when I interact with them. Interactions that leave me feeling drained that no longer serve me in a healthy way will be discontinued.
- I put myself first, and stay away from blood suckers who drain my energy dry.
- I am getting more sleep and making my body rest when I feel tired.
- I discontinued the use of many of my social media accounts. I no longer have Twitter, a personal Facebook, Snapchat or TikTok. I cannot tell you how much this has helped my overall mental health and well-being. I still have a public Facebook, and I have Instagram but I’m not as active as I once was. Disconnecting from social media apps and electronics in general has been a wonderful boundary I am setting for myself, especially from my current state of affairs.
- I am reading more books and I’m educating myself about topics I’m passionate about.
- I am being very intentional with my time and who I spend my time with. I will always believe time is the most valuable thing any of us have. Certain things I used to entertain; I no longer entertain.
- I am sleeping grounded. It is helping my mental and physical health in many ways. Click here to learn more. Grounding is one of the most amazing ways to heal our bodies. When I can’t be connected to the earth 24/7 I am now connected to the earth when I sleep at night. This is one of the best investments I have made on my health.
- I am trying new plant-based recipes and changing my eating habits. It is taken time, and I am not exactly where I want to be, but I’m headed in the right direction.
- I am learning as much as possible about cancer and getting educated on alternative preventative ways to stay cancer free.
- I am creating my own happiness in my surroundings at home, and out in nature. I spend AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE out in nature, connecting with Mother Earth! This has been one of the number one ways to heal in my personal journey. I’m still chasing waterfalls, as Kentucky has over 700! This has been great for my mental health, and I always feel rejuvenated when I return from one of my hiking day-trips.
- I purchased a flip phone, and I also have a smartphone. I keep the smartphone put away on airplane mode about 99% of the time. It is a huge distraction and blood sucker of time. The older I get; I feel this way about all electronics. I do see the need for some, but the way the world is going with AI taking over, I am not a fan AT ALL.
- I am calling my friends more and talking on the phone. It seems like a lost art these days, and I am doing all I can to stay connected to my friends and family. I want to talk and hear their voices. Everything is so digital, and I truly feel people are missing out on real connections because of it. If you want to talk, CALL ME!
- I am cutting back on texting all together. If you read the above message, you know why.
- When I get angry, or feelings overwhelm me to the point of paralyzation, I make myself go to sleep. I do not respond to these emotions.
- I stopped saying “Sorry for the delay.” We are all busy, and I do not want to keep apologizing for being human and not responding to text or emails like a robot.
- I stopped explaining myself when others do not have the willingness to listen.
- I no longer insert myself into spaces that are not adoptee centric. I have been shafted and had one too many gaslighting experiences by adoptive parents and birth parents. My presence is a gift and I choose to insert myself into spaces where my fellow adoptees reside offline that are safe spaces. We get one another and I’m saving my sacred energy for them.
Believe it or not, I am still learning how to process life on life’s terms by living a life without alcohol. Every day is a new challenge and a new milestone. I have recently experienced some setbacks. To be honest, I was not sure how I was going to overcome them. I have spent a lot of time sleeping, because that is the only way I know how to shut my brain off. But instead of feel “dysfunctional” I am learning that resting my body and mind is a healthy thing to do. More so when I am going through what feels like an emotional or mental health crisis.
One of the best things I have done for myself is acknowledge that no matter where I am in life, I will always have setbacks, and things happen that make me feel bad and sad. Embracing this truth as a “part of life” has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
Processing 2020 without alcohol is a milestone to be celebrated. While my birthday is a sad and sore subject for me, my REBIRTH-DAY is something to be honored. So today I shall save space for my sadness of loosing my birth mother 46 years ago today. I will also save space for the celebration of 8 years living life alcohol free.
I cannot end this article without extending a special shout out to my main squeezes who have supported me along the way. My kids, my close friends and family. My kids always have been and always will be my motivation to keep going, even when I have not wanted to keep going for myself. My friends & family, thank you for listening to me, and sitting with me in my sadness. I would not have made it this far without the support of some amazing people in my life. Thank you!
Cheers to 8 years!
Even in the middle of a pandemic, I still have so much to be thankful for.
Q. For my fellow adoptees, how are you maintaining your sanity in our current times? What have you done to shift your atmosphere to be in better alignment with the added stresses we’re all going through?
Don’t forget this article along with all my other articles are available in audio for your convenience, just look up Pamela A. Karanova Podcast on Google Podcasts, iTunes , Spotify. and Amazon Music. Interested in treating me with a coffee, to add fuel to my fire? Click here. Many thanks in advance to my supporters!
Sending you sunshine, love & light,