“Because guess what? Me too.” by Anne Lamott

grace2

I often struggle to find the perfect words to describe the hell and the hopelessness that I felt when I was in the midst of my alcoholic obsession, and how getting sober was the one thing that transformed my entire life to something that I have never imagined. I can still feel that gratitude, and I will never forget it. However, putting the feelings into the words “on paper” often seems quite challenging.

Then I read something, somewhere, and I feel it again, I feel like this is it! This is exactly what that feels like!

This time it was this amazing soberversary post from the writer Anne Lamott:

quote1 On July 7, 1986, 29 years ago, I woke up sick, shamed, hungover, and in deep animal confusion. I woke up this way most mornings. Why couldn’t I stop after 6 or 7 drinks? Why didn’t I have an “off” switch when I had that first drink every day?

Well, “Why?” is not a useful question.

I thought about having a cool refreshing beer, just to get all the flies going in one direction.

I was 32, with three published books, and the huge local love of my family and life-long friends. I was loved out of all sense of proportion. I gave talks and readings that hundreds of people came to. I had won a Guggenheim Fellowship, although, like many fabulous writers, I was drunk as a skunk every day. I was penniless and bulimic, but adorable, and cherished.

But there was one tiny problem. I was dying. Oh, also, my soul was rotted out from mental illness and physical abuse. My insides felt like Swiss cheese, until I had that first cool, refreshing drink.

So, not ideal. The elevator was going. It ONLY goes down; until you finally get off. As a clean, sober junkie told me weeks later, “At the end, I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.”

And against all odds, I picked up the 200 pound phone, and called the same sober alkie that my older brother had called two years earlier, when he had hit his coked-out bottom. The man, a Jack Lemmon type, said, “I will come get you at 11:30. Take a shower, and try not to drink till then. The shower is optional.”

I didn’t; when all else fails, follow Instructions. I couldn’t imagine there was a way out of all that sickness and self-will, all those lies and secrets, but God always makes a way out of No Way.

So I showed up. Before I turned on Woody Allen, he said that 80% of life is just showing up. And I did. There were all these other women who had what I had, who’d thought what I’d thought, who’d done what I’d done, who had betrayed their families and deepest values, who sat with me that day, and said “Guess what? Me, too! I have that too. Let me get you a glass of water.” Those are the words of salvation: Guess what? Me, too.”

Then I blinked, and today is my 29th recovery birthday. I hope someday it will be yours, too, or at least your 1st. Don’t give up on yourself. In recovery, we never EVER give up on anyone, no matter what it looks like, no matter how long it takes.

Because Grace bats last. That spiritual WD-40, those water wings, that second wind–it bats last. That is my promise to you.

Happy birthday to me, and maybe to you. As my beloved EE Cummings wrote, “(I who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birthday of life and love and wings.)”

Don’t. Give. Up. Because guess what? Me too. quote2

 

I hope that you found this as inspiring as I did! Anne Lamott posted this on her Facebook Page HERE on July 7, 2015. There are more than 5k comments on this post and they are all full of love, care, and support! It always amazes me how many people are out there dealing with this disease! We are most definitely not alone!!

***Anne Lamott is an American novelist and non-fiction writer. She is also a progressive political activist, public speaker, and writing teacher. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, her nonfiction works are largely autobiographical. Marked by their self-deprecating humor and openness, Lamott’s writings cover such subjects as alcoholism, single-motherhood, depression, and Christianity. (From WikiPedia.)


If you, or anyone you know, is struggling with alcohol addiction, please click the Find Recovery 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 sobercourage@gmail.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.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. jesstme123 says:

    Thank you for this today. I’m starting over again and really want to find the courage to stick with it, to not give up. it’s hard, but I want what you have . I want to look back and say, yup it’s been 20 something years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It is hard But it gets easier and it is so well worth it. Just break it down to one day at a time and after a while the days will start adding up!

      Sending big hugs. You can do this!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave says:

    Great read! It still find it completely amazing when I read something like this great story and relate to most of its contents, we’re all the same, and if we’re all the same then we are not alone. I twisted and shared a part of it this evening that got my groups attention and a smile. I said “have any of you ever bought something that required some assembly then fumbled with it in frustration until you read the instructions”? I then put my hand on the Big Book and said “no need to fumble, the instructions are right here all you have to do is follow them”! Pass.

    Dave

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great. And so true. We are so alike and that actually amazes me because it doesn’t matter where we live or what language we speak we have this in common and although it might not be the ideal reason to connect with people, but why not! If we can help each other that’s all that matters!

      Thanks Dave! Hugs.

      Like

  3. lmckowen says:

    I never, ever get tired of reading Annie’s words. My reaction was exactly the same as yours. Grateful for you, lady.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, right! Oh, if I only had the words! Well, I just glad that someone does!

      Thanks for stopping by. Hugs!

      Like

  4. Santos says:

    Six years sober in Oct 2015 after embarrassing my niece at her wedding. AND myself. Best thing I ever did was quit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Big congrats on six years! Whoop whoop! Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  5. John says:

    Great read. Inspirational and very,very real.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Anonymous says:

    Check out http://www.essentialsofrecovery.com great recovery site.

    Liked by 1 person

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