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Hula Hooping Defeated My Alcohol Abuse

alcohol abuse
Author Tomi Jennings tells her story of how hula hooping helped her overcome alcoholism


I want to begin by saying that not all hoop journeys begin blissfully, and that’s ok. The most obvious hula hoop benefits hold no comparison to the invisible, emotional, and spiritual gains that take place. Believe me when I say the changes are inevitable. If given the opportunity, this sacred circle will give the confidence to let go of all detrimental forces in your life and environment. The toxic behaviors, so to speak, will turn from habits to non existent; and I’m speaking from experience.

I remember when I found the circle I was drinking alcohol on a dangerous level daily. I was in a state of chronic dehydration and constantly forgetting to eat, yet I found myself infatuated with these hula hoops. I would get into an intense groove finding a good flow. While I would be drenched in sweat I would start feeling nauseous that would soon take over every fiber of my being. I feel like I can’t describe the moment when I would feel my body rejecting the exercise. Trying so hard to ignore what was happening, the vomit would always win. The seduction of having control over something so sweet and passionate gave me sense of empowerment again. The movements that are induced when getting lost in the sacred circle are sexy and are felt from on lookers. I believe that’s why an audience ALWAYS accrues when a Hooper is street performing. It’s a beautiful art that requires a certain type of inner dedication; and people feel that when their eyes are gazing upon a hula hoop dancer.

The effects of alcohol and its damage became unbearable. Should I surrender the deadly cycle I was inflicting on myself and give in to what I am being spiritually drawn to? Or should I remain in this bitter, resentful, harmful, and atomically toxic state? Surrendering would entail more than any “healthy” alcoholic could imagine. Not only would the detox from the poison be undoubtedly rough, to say the least, but I would also have to focus on repairing the damage done to my already vulnerable brain and try to repair ALL things broken. It was too intimidating to even finish the thought process the first time that quitting drinking and changing my life crossed my mind. I was terrified, but then, the more I loved the hoop, the more I loathed intoxication. The more I despised the dependency the more I found myself wanting to write, picking up my books and reading more, wanting NOT to go to the bar for happy hour but to the park for random, wholesome conversations. Unfortunately I had put myself in a position where I physically couldn’t go more then twenty hours without an alcoholic beverage. Every organ would feel as though it were spasmodic. The vomiting would hit and if it were hurling from my toes. Knowing that my skin would be crawling and stinging while I tried to consume water that was so very vital, would be almost immediately be spit back up. No water until the alcohol had gone down first.

The more my hula hoop intellectually and creatively stimulated my lost self, the more my conscious was aware of the damage taking place. If it weren’t for my reintroduction to one of my favorite child hood toys during this toxic, dark, hazardous, and hopeless time in my life, I don’t believe I would’ve grasped a hold of my depleted self; EVER.

I think, after recently reading Heather Doxtater’s articles concerning Chakra alignments, (which can be found in ShelLED Hoops’s┬áblog feed…give them a read, they will open your mind!) that the hoop paired with dancing and amazing music helped me open up and re center the true essence of TOMI that had been blocked out and even grieved. I had allowed the years of neurologically implementing a toxicity that reached a cellular level put me in a place where I was consumed by a terminal illness. Forgetting who I was, what I stood for and where I came from was the worst of it all. I thank God and the universe for putting these hula hoops in my path. Call it fate, or destiny, or a miracle, but for what its worth, this hula hoop dance gig saved my life. The core being of myself was given LIFE and LIGHT again; through the simplicity of a plastic circle.