Looking forward in 2020
- Alyson Bear | February 11, 2020
Personally, 2020 is a big year for me. I am going to graduate from law school this year so long as I continue to push through. I am proud of how far I have come, especially while being a single, Indigenous mother and having the odds stacked against me, and for finding sobriety and taking back control of my life. This has led me to make it through my first degree in 2017 and now so close to my second.
Time has flown since having my daughters in undergrad. Being sober has allowed me to be present in my children’s lives while being a role model for them and doing all I can to help them grow into the beautiful, intelligent and strong little girls they already are. No matter what life hands us we are a team and we will get through it together. That is what it means to be family.
I share because I want people to know that they can overcome their darkest days. I want people to know that being sober doesn’t make you any less, or mean you are missing out. I have more control over who I am and determining my future. I can feel my spirit more at peace than ever, even though I still have a lot to work on. This is only the beginning.
A degree is not just a piece of paper for me. I have worked extremely hard for this. Education has freed me so I can get to a place where I am independent. It has been its own institutional colonial torture at times but it takes self-discipline and sacrifice - something I can relate to through ceremony. I have chosen my classes wisely, all geared to do research on discovering the truth of this country and my people. My identity was lost and my purpose was buried, but through this work I have begun to find who I am and my purpose in life. The truth will set you free. It is not easy to step back and dissect ourselves and our lives so we can rearrange the chaos and take back control, one day at a time.
The system has us playing victim in our own minds when our spirits know we have what it takes within us the whole time. The more our youth see our people overcoming obstacles, the more they can believe in themselves and know there is a way out. The answer is not in someone handing it to you, it is from our own souls, from knowing our ancestors were hard-working warriors and that is the blood that flows through our veins.
I started this year wanting to be toxic-free, so I began by addressing my past traumas that are unhealed because I have been coping through keeping busy. I can admit I am a workaholic. I would rather put in the work daily and be addicted to succeeding than self-sabotaging, as I was doing before I got sober. I know my kids will benefit from my hard work. As head of a single-income home, I need to make the sacrifices and put in the work so I can give my children lives with opportunities. It is not easy to actually tend to your wounds instead of masking them and allowing them to build until you break.
Toxic free, what does that mean for me? It means continuing to work on setting boundaries because other people’s choices are out of my control. Therefore, to prevent toxicity from leaking into my life and my children’s lives, I need to be aware of what to distance myself from, which are situations that would likely bring dysfunction into our lives. It is like risk assessment; does this add or take away from our life?
I started this process when I became sober and I noticed right away that people, who were only connected to me through unhealthy habits, started to vanish. I have become aware of the things and people that drain me through manipulating me to think I am not good or worthy enough to achieve what it is I am so close to achieving now.
There is so much work we need to do for ourselves so that we can put in the work necessary for the bigger picture. Globally, 2020 should be a big year for making decisions and finding solutions when it comes to climate change. That is another truth we all need to think about today for all our children.