Marriage & Recovery

There was a time in my life when I wholeheartedly believed that finding “the one” would fix everything. That my prince charming would sweep me off my feet and make every insecurity and addiction disappear. Over the years I realized the naivety of this belief, yet there was still a part of me that believed, or maybe hoped, that having a ring on my finger would make every other struggle in my life vanish.

I’m here to say that this is 100% not the case.

I’d learned well before meeting Ryan that being in a relationship would never fix my problems. No man would ever come along and miraculously make my trauma disappear. However, there were, and always will be, men who try to convince women that they are indeed the answer to all of their issues. It’s these men who reinforce codependency and lead their partners even deeper into the pits.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Ryan to begin with was because he never tried to be my cure-all. He’s supported and encouraged me from the beginning, but has never pretended to be able to “fix” me. Instead, he has loved me through relapses, grief, insecurities, depression, anxiety & nightmares. To explain a bit more, this is part of the little speech that I gave at our reception:

“I’d never ever been the one to make the first move, or say those three little words first, but I did. He was different, he is different. He is my knight in shining armor, but not because he saved me. But because for the last three years he has challenged me to save myself and continues to be my support and my best friend… The point is, he is not like anyone I’ve ever known, and I cannot believe that I’m lucky enough to call him my husband.”

It’s been difficult for me figuring out this whole “wife” thing. I have the same, if not more, unconditional love and support from my husband, but I’ve been struggling. I think I’m trying too hard to identify who I am as a “wife.” I’m still me. I’m still the same woman who is learning to love herself, despite not necessarily liking what she sees in the mirror. I’m still the same woman who has claimed victory over some of her most aggressive demons. I’m still the same woman who is madly in love with Ryan Norton, and who is working so freaking hard, every day, to be a better human.

So here’s to marriage not fixing all of our problems, but to being able to celebrate the victories, big and little, with your permanent roommate. 👫

NN


You Are Enough

image

I absolutely love this, because it is so right on. YOU are enough.

You are:
-beautiful enough
-thin enough
-fit enough
-smart enough
-enough for that person who thinks you aren’t
-enough for that job you really want
MORE than enough.

Never forget it.
😉

Life Lessons

I am 22 years old, and I honestly think that during this season of my life I may be learning some of the most valuable lessons I may ever learn.

Recently I have felt like work is taking over my life, and this feeling is probably exaggerated by the recent traveling I’ve done. Please don’t get me wrong, I am loving my work and especially the traveling, but I am able to recognize that at times it seems to be the only thing on my radar. Now, I am fortunate to work for some pretty incredible people. During my trip, at dinner one evening they gave me some awesome advice, and I am going to share it with you.

image1) When people share constructive criticisms with you – instead of beating yourself up and becoming frustrated with yourself for not getting it right the first time, you need to use their words as building blocks to learn and get to the next level. In other words, appreciate advice given to you from those who have been in your shoes before – take advantage of their knowledge.

2) Even if you’re working long days and weekends – you always need to make the time to relax and enjoy those who mean the most to you. Don’t put those you love on the back burner to further your career – that could turn into a very lonely life.

I think that these simple pieces of advice can also be applied to recovery, as well as a variety of situations we’ll all encounter in life. Do your best to not take things personally, learn from your mistakes, and take time [no matter what] to spend with those you love.

On another note, a piece of advice from yours truly that I’m currently learning – always put yourself first. Although I enjoy working hard and being recognized for my dedication, long days are still inevitably exhausting. Apparently my body decided to rebel on my flight back home from Connecticut last week – long story short I progressively got worse until I had a high fever the next day, accompanied with dizziness, sore throat, cough, headache, body aches, etc. And here I sit lying in bed tonight still struggling with this illness. The doctor says, “it’s just a virus and will have to run its course, usually 7-10 days…” that is not a very fun thing to hear. Nonetheless, my boss gave me the day off yesterday and for possibly the first time, I was able to see the true value of relaxing and having legitimate “me” time. No matter how hectic days get – it is so important to remember the value of self-care. Your body is the only one you’re going to get in this life, taking care of it needs to be top priority.

For me – applying all that I’ve learned recently means getting back into my routine that consists of vitamins, smoothies, workouts, yoga, & daily devotions.

So, friends – here’s to life lessons, life-long relationships, and positive life changes. Allow all of this to work together so that you can learn to love the (wo)man in the mirror.