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Sober Growth & Recovery

By Oksana Tsimbalova

My name is Oksana, born in Russia and adopted to the states. Rather than diving into my whole life story which I'm sure most of you could relate to, I feel it's most important to share my growth and recovery. Today I'm almost 5 years sober and that is because I've created a life that I don't want to escape from.

I have a job that I don't want to show up high for. Changing my career path was so important for my recovery. Most of my jobs I did for the sake of making money even if I was miserable.

Yes, money is important, but I realized that if I spend 25% of my week working, I want to feel fulfilled in what I do, not drained, depleted, and taken advantage of. Yes work can be hard, but I've realized that I shouldn't feel the need to use it because of it.

I've learned what it means to be in a healthy relationship with myself, my partner, my family & friends. First and foremost I had to work on the relationship with myself, from there I was able to lean into my relationships and be the best partner, the best daughter, and the best friend that I could be.

Owning a house was a huge step in my recovery. For the first time I learned what it meant to build my credit score, pay bills on time, and take care of a house. From painting, to decorating, and saving money for home projects. I pour my heart and soul into creating a loving home with my fiancé and our animals.

I've leveled up in my spiritual practice and mindfulness. I used to think that growth and awakening was going to be the most spectacular experience, and in a sense it is, but I learned quickly that it's a lot of hard work and can get ugly. Lately in my life I've put a huge emphasis on what it means to truly love myself as I am in each moment; not just the parts of myself I share with the world, but the parts of my shadow self that don't always align with society's idea of beauty.

In my 5 years of recovery I've tried to be open minded, ready to take suggestions, and grow outside of my comfort zone. Some of these practices include:

  • Studying yoga and becoming a registered 500-hr yoga teacher.

  • Practicing meditation and becoming the inner observer through self awareness.

  • Taking walks outside daily or going for day-long hikes.

  • Trying new things like rock climbing, paddle boarding and ninja warrior obstacles.

Overall, I've taken bits and pieces from a variety of recovery programs and my yoga practice & have created my own program that works for me. It's been important for me to try everything and take suggestions, and it's also been important to learn how to cultivate the awareness of what's working for me and what's not.

I hope this inspires you to get out there and live a life you don't want to escape from. Remember that you are worthy of living the life of your dreams, and creating it is possible. One step, one breath at a time. Follow my journey on IG @_oksanasana_

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