The Hardest Thing I Have Had To Do – By Kyczy Hawk

I quit drinking, That was hard; it was imperative, it was time, I had hit bottom. It was still hard.

I quit taking drugs. Again, it was crucial; it was life saving, and it was hard. Working the steps: hard. Living life on life’s terms: hard. Learning to do things clean and sober for the first time: dating, dancing, sex, getting jobs, quitting jobs, applying to school quitting jobs, raising the kids: hard, hard, hard.

Further into recovery I was able to discern the source of some of my “defects” and “shortcomings”; rooted as they were in my primary issues of attachment to others and suppression of myself. I wanted so much to be approved of, to be part of, that I repressed some of my native characteristics. I had to investigate my addiction to what I call “otheration”(living through what I thought were the eyes of others), adapting myself to suit their standards. I turned my back on myself. Finding this out, investigating it and then learning to believe in myself was hard. Accepting the consequences was hard.

I got used to these challenges because after it was hard – it got easier, and then routine. I began to look forward to meetings, to talking with my sponsor, even to revisiting the steps when I needed to. I addressed these tough processes and with practice the solutions became easier.

So what is the hardest thing I have had to do? ACCEPT MYSELF. In order to fully heal I have had to see myself for who I am, how I am, what I look like, what I can and cannot do and affirm them. This process takes almost as much vigilance as my recovery did in the beginning.

Now, in the New Year, it is traditional and encouraged to take stock and decide what you are going to do to improve yourself. You evaluate your character, your appearance, your habits, your relationships and you decide that you are going to do a little more of this or a little less of that. You make a pledge to be better, do better, look better, act better.

The calendar switches over from one date to the next and that is supposed to make all the difference.

Well… my truth is NO, Not So Much!  I do my Tenth Step and I take my Twelfth Step seriously: I practice these principles in all my affairs. I look at what I am doing on a daily basis. January 1st means no more to me than the sixth of May.

But this year it is different- I am going to do something extra hard. I learned it on my yoga mat and now I will practice it in “real” life. When I practice poses I do as well as I can for that moment, that practice. I don’t try to replicate the pose of yesterday or reach into the pose of tomorrow. So, this year I am going to do the same. I am going to accept myself as I am each day; in each conversation, each choice, each action, every glance in a mirror or reflection in a store window: accept myself as I am. It is hard. I have a critical mind, a criticising mind and I turn it on myself ALL THE TIME!

Today, this minute, I have begun to see myself as I am and accept myself as I am right now: judge-y, pot bellied, crepey skinned, impatient. And then this moment; pleased with my actions, kind hearted toward my spouse, compassionate thoughts for my sick friend. And this moment, breathe and accept.

Honestly it is really hard to embrace self acceptance. I feel as if I were not being humble, that I am missing something that needs changing, that I won’t do what needs to be done or in some way shirk my recovery duties. These are all sham messages.

This is an arduous, demanding and unrelenting practice; but I wish for you in this day, this year and this forever that you experience self acceptance and hope, for all of us, in time it will become easier.





About Kyczy Hawk

Kyczy has been teaching recovery focused yoga classes since 2008. She is a devoted teacher to people in treatment centers and in jail. Kyczy created a teacher training program for others who wish to work in this field. Trauma sensitivity and the somatics of feeling and relating more wisely to your body are some of the basics taught in S.O.A.R.(™) Success Over Addiction and Relapse.Kyczy has been a certified Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) leader for over eight years and a leadership trainer for the past two. She leads workshops nationally and holds and annual retreat at the Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, California.Author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path” , “Life in Bite-Sized Morsels” , “From Burnout to Balance” she has recently released a book and workbook through Central Recovery Press:”A Yogic Tools for Recovery; A Guide To working The Steps” as well as five recovery oriented word puzzle books.You can also join Kyczy and a host of other people in recovery every Sunday morning at 8am PT (11 am ET) on In The Rooms at the Yoga Recovery meeting. Join the Thursday “12 Step Study; Yogic Tools For Recovery” 8pm ET on ITR.Kyczy is very proud of her family; husband, kids, and grandkids, all who amaze her in unique and wonderful ways. Join her mailing list for other online offerings at
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Avatar
    michelle (standtall2)

    Thank you for being the voice of clarity on this journey! Substances dropped, check! (Working program on sugar addiction.) Check! Otheration = I am leaving the stage, making choices from “I am worthy”, and what do I need, want, desire, dream, require? Honoring my truth? Better. Am I IN life, versus observation/ “protection” mode? Still need to ask myself, “Whose life is this, anyway!?” Standing in the sunshine, making sure my outsides match my insides? I choose color, instead of just black and gray. I am alive, and as Mary Oliver asks, “And what will you do with your one, wild, precious life?” Again, thank you for “you”! Grateful!!

    • i am so glad that this was useful and happy that I have friends on this part of the journey. I like this reminder about “whose life is this ANYWAY!” _ it is a humorous way to remind myself to work from the inside out. Be well

  2. Very powerful, Kyczy, and thank you for sharing such intimate parts of your life with us. We all, together, can benefit from you, as I already have, through your meditations. Thank you, thank you, thank you & see you ITRs.

  3. Yes, we do have to learn to accept ourselves. And we don’t have to be better, we just have to be. Like all imperfect human beings.

  4. “Honestly it is really hard to embrace self acceptance. I feel as if I were not being humble, that I am missing something that needs changing, that I won’t do what needs to be done …” Yes. Yes. Yes! Thank you, Kyczy for articulating this. The Brothers Guilt, Shame and Self-Recrimination arrive on the scene each day attempting to intervene on my actually, really, truly, better behalf. Let’s kick those jerks to the curb!

    • Absolutely! I love that image. Those “nattering nabobs of negativism” don’t deserve space in our heads! Seriously it is difficult to do on an ongoing basis- particularly when in the throws of HALT. Humor helps.
      be well

  5. Kyczy, I love this. Thank you for your ever present shining example of “walking the walk…” Blessings, love and light.

  6. i think thats the biggest(important) one you have to sort out.99% of problems are internal,you got to fix your own head,not easy if its a pile of barbed wire and broken bricks in the middle of a minefield.but if you can fix life instantly gets up substances is a walk in the park compared with it.personally work in progress

    • Thank you for sharing that we are in this together- it took me a while to realize that it is not people places or things in any way. It is honesty with myself. It is a work in progress.
      Be well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.