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Why I Chose to Get Sober

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Why I Chose to Get Sober

There was a time in my life where alcohol and drugs consumed me. I cared about chasing the next buzz day in and day out. I wanted to disconnect from reality and lived in a constant state of fear—fear of not getting what I wanted or losing what I already had.

This took me out of being present in my life, showing up in my life, being the daughter, sister, and friend I was put here to be. My addictions put up a wall that separated me from the rest of the world.

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I lived with this tunnel vision keeping my world quite small. This emotional and physical void within me kept me alone and isolated. Alcohol and drugs did the trick for some time. Then they stopped working.

So at the age of 25, I made the decision to get sober.

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Here are 5 reasons I chose to get sober. I hope it offers some advice and insight for anyone who is struggling with addiction or knows someone who is.

1. I value the present.

Holding onto pain from the past or anxiety about the future is what my addictions thrived in. The present seemed scary. I didn’t think I could handle reality. I didn’t think I was strong enough or worthy enough. That is directly related to the self-sabotaging and destructive nature of addiction. Presence is possible by completely surrendering to what is and letting go of the destructive coping mechanisms that may be holding you back.

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2. I want to give and receive love.

My addictions put up an internal brick wall and I could not tap into the light and love within. I was in constant pain and felt terminally unique and alone in the world. I did not feel worthy of love from others so I pushed them away. I ended relationships left and right and didn’t allow people into my life. Now I see that I have the ability to give love and it feels good! It connects me with a greater purpose and gives me a sense of connection and belonging.

3. I want to show up for others.

I didn’t understand what this meant for a long time. I lived in my own world that just revolved around me. It was all about what I could get from others. Now, I get to truly be there and be present with others. Maybe it’s helping a friend move or being at a birthday dinner. Either way, these are acts of service and bring us closer to others.

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4. I want to embrace honesty and openness.

Addiction fostered a double life for me. From the outside, it looked like everything was okay; yet inside, I was in pain and suffering. I didn’t want to show this to anyone else. I was scared and in a constant state of fear. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can open up to another person, express myself, and communicate. It’s not always easy but it feels good.

5. I couldn’t balance the chaos anymore.

The lies and manipulation that consumed my days were exhausting. I was so scared to commit to anyone or anything, so I lived in this constant state of shame and guilt. The chaos perpetuated this cycle and left me feeling drained. By living authentically, I can put my true self out to the world. This is energizing and stimulating.

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No matter what you are going through, remember that you are not alone. You have an infinite amount of strength, wisdom, love, and light inside you. Don’t let the power you harness within be taken away from another person, place, or thing.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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