Becoming Enough

Unfuckwithable: (adj.) When you are truly at peace and in touch with yourself, and nothing anyone says or does bothers you, and no negativity or drama can touch you.

Am I the only person that reads  this and immediately thinks, YES PLEASE!  I first read this phrase many years ago and it almost immediately became the number one item on my bucket list. It was also what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know that word, nor what it meant at 8, but I wanted one thing and one thing only: to be enough. I wanted to be smart enough, pretty enough, popular enough, cool enough; ENOUGH.

For many years I assumed that my obsession with enough had something to do with wanting to be seen and validated. Though I did want to be seen, validated, loved and accepted, it was not what I wanted most. What I wanted most was to be safe and I associated safe with invisible.  I have vivid memories of my Junior year of High School and berating myself repeatedly to "keep it together" and to make sure it was "good enough".  

What was so important about enough? If I was enough then you couldn’t see me. If I was enough you couldn’t hurt me and if I was enough I didn’t have to feel what you felt. If I was enough then I  wouldn't have to face someone's anger or ire.  Good enough kept everyone away from me.  What I didn't know then was that I was walking around with a hyper-sensitized sensory system.  I was an emotional sponge in puberty.  I felt everything all the time, my moods changed on a dime and whatever it was I seemed to do to stabilize myself didn’t make the feelings stop. I was never enough to turn off all of the noise around me.  I was terrified, ashamed and so very scared.

Being the overachiever that I am, I found very creative ways to dull my sensory system. I tried starving away my feelings, drowning them with alcohol, throwing myself into harmful relationships, self-harm and then finally suicide. By the time I was 34, I had been placed on a psych hold once, been in treatment for anorexia and bulimia twice and even once for alcoholism. I was also diagnosed with several psychiatric disorders along the way including a personality disorder.  My life was in complete shambles.  At rock bottom, my mother checked me out the psychiatric ward in Orange County and then drove me back to the treatment center I had been in six months previous.  That one was not on my bucket list.

Fortunately, that experience was one of many valuable learning experiences I have been lucky enough to harness as opportunities along the way. has been a long road for me; first the one into insanity and then the one out. I have worn many diagnose and identified as an anorexic, codependent, alcoholic with PTSD; even as “bat shit crazy” at one point.

All of the diagnoses that were thrown at me were relevant and the time and thankfully were more symptomatic than systemic. I was incredibly ill from the eating disorder and alcoholism and it took me over three years to even get myself back to a place of equilibrium. At that point, I started to understand how I found myself almost dead.

For the record, I both do and do not fit the profile of my labels. Unstable alcoholic anorexic with PTSD was how I self-identified for a long time. I genuinely wondered if I would ever be able to function normally again. Too much trauma with too much alcohol and too little food for too long meant that the statistics surrounding my complete recovery were low. 

I also don't fit the profile. Yes, I had a fair amount of PTSD, but most of it was not caused by the direct fault of any one person.  I never though I was fat and I never liked being drunk. Yet, I was still an alcoholic, anorexic with a diagnosed personality disorder. I needed both the psychological and psychiatric intervention. I followed the western model of treatment for two years. It wasn’t going to work forever, however, because it never addressed the root cause.

I wanted to be invisible remember and I didn’t want to have to feel anything at all. I wanted complete control of my sensory experience. If your body is starving to death, you don’t feel. If you are drunk, you don’t remember what you feel. Given the opportunity, I would have numbed our on hugs if the option was available. Though I was "out of the woods" two years into my recovery I was still miserable. I was managing my symptoms, but my gut knew there was something more.  The labels didn't explain everything and I needed answers.

I found answers inside of energy medicine.  I found answers inside of shamanism.  I found answers inside of physics and I found answers inside of me.  The western model  of "treatment" would have never worked for me completely.  It is simply too reactive of a model for it to have worked for me by itself.  I needed something more holistic.  In the last two years I have finally come to terms with my energetic sensitivity. In addition to working the 12 steps and using Dialectical Behavior Therapy I became certified in Reiki and I spend at least an hour a day on my yoga mat. I have learned how to shield myself from thoughts and emotions that don’t belong to me. Today I know what is mine and what is not. Sometimes I figure out right away and others it takes me a bit.

What I have learned is that there really is no such thing as unfuckwithable; at least not for me. What there is, however, is resiliency and practice. We live in a society that is rampant with comparison and we label good and bad so quickly. The more time I spend in recovery, the more I am learning to take a step back from making judgments at all. I prefer asking questions like “is this working for me”, “how do I want to feel”, “what changed would help ne get there” and even “does this relationship serve me?” Asking questions helps me identify the core emotion and then gets me to a place where I can problem solve effectively. 

I still get hurt. I still feel pain. I also feel joy, connection and love. Trudging in and out of hell was worth it; even if I’m not unfuckwithable. Today, though, I am something even better. I am enough.