It has been 6 years since I took my last drink and I seriously still have to pinch myself to make sure that this is real! I remember days that I didn’t think that I could ever have a week, a month, let alone a year, or six! There were days that I counted the hours and sometimes the minutes. Every day that I made it sober was a true miracle! And this is still true today.
If you knew me then, my life was nothing like it is today. It was dark and lonely; a mere existence. I did not have a job, or a car, or anywhere to be, or have anything to do. I did not have any friends. I didn’t see my family. I just drank, every day, in hopes that one of those days I would pass out, and never wake up again. I was physically and mentally bankrupt, yet it was another 4 years before I got sober! This disease is cunning and baffling.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu
Early morning on April 15th, 2008 I woke up face down on the kitchen floor, after an entire weekend spent in a blackout. I panicked. In my moment of clarity, the pain was finally great enough that I let it all go and just like that, the will to stay sober was finally stronger than the will to get drunk again. I was ready to move forward and find a different way in life. But I had no idea what the future vision was for me. I had no idea where this new, terrifying road was going to lead me. I only had the faith that somehow, the new scary road was going to be better than the old one!
I got married, sober. I could not imagine getting married without booze! As many women dreamed of the perfect venues and the perfect dresses, I dreamed the perfect ice sculpted vodka luge, at my wedding, along with an open bar, stocked with best wines and liquors. The thought of not having a nice glass of wine (or 10) at my wedding was just inconceivable. Then I got sober, and drinking just for the wedding didn’t make any sense. Strangely enough, I didn’t miss the booze at all!! We danced the entire night and had the time of our lives! Plus, I still remember it all. I was sober, present and available.
I lost my mom to cancer, sober. While my brothers and dad were by her side through chemo treatments and numerous surgeries during her ten-year battle, I was getting drunk. I was just not capable of being there for her or for anyone. Then, I got sober, and three years into recovery, my mom was approaching the end of her battle. Drinking didn’t make any sense again. As challenging as it was to be going through this, I finally understood that this was not about me, it was about my mom. And this time, I was able to be there for her and for my family. The last days were long and difficult, yet all those days are still the most precious memories that I have of her. I was sober, present and available.
Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity. –Albert Einstein
I believe that it is from the depths of pain that we can find the true spirit and the gifts of life! Sobriety has been and continues to be, an amazing journey – sometimes easy, sometimes not. Yet as time goes on I have learned to embrace life on life’s terms and be an active participant. However, I did not do all this on my own! There are many people who have helped me along the way. They carried me when I was weak, they loved me when I couldn’t, and they let me know that things were going to be OK. There is a special kind of love shared between us, from my 12-step network, to the amazing sober blog world, and the wonderful sobersphere on Facebook and Tweeter. You are all amazing and I am so very grateful that our paths have crossed. I most definitely could not have done this without all of you!
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Support link for an extensive list of support groups. Also please check out the links to many useful resources in the sidebar, and always feel free to contact me anytime at email@example.com.
You may also find some great inspiration and support from all the awesome sober bloggers listed in the side bar under POSTS I LIKE and RECOVERY BLOGGERS, as well as Sober Courage page on Facebook and Sober Courage on Twitter.