On today, April 13th, I thank God humbly with tears and joy that I am able to celebrate being sober one day at a time for 11 years.
11 years -since I have put alcohol in my body. On this day, I reflect who I was then–what I worked through and “healed” from. By working through a program, I live with the promises of being sober: happiness, joy and freedom.
I was a blackout drinker, beaten up, broken and suicidal. I kept chasing the lies of one more drink. I won't feel anything, and I’m happier drunk. I was angry because I couldn’t understand why I was a victim of life; I convinced myself that I was unlovable and unworthy. I had no respect for myself or others – no boundaries, accountability, nor understanding of how my actions were hurting people.
The loneliness I felt was the size of the universe –a space of never ending darkness. Depression told me to end my life, that I was too tired and beat-up to carry on. In selfishness, I was unaware of how my actions hurt people. Not to mention, I was completely bankrupt financially, emotionally and spiritually. And yet, I somehow found money for alcohol.
From adolescence into adulthood, alcohol held me hostage for 23 years. It took so many things from my life including stunting my ability to develop into a mature adult. At 12 years old, alcohol stopped my brain from developing coping mechanisms, problem solving skills or emotional intelligence. Up to 35 years old, I was running around drunk with a 12 year old mindset.
There’s not enough space to write on this post about all the damage it created. The focus is not in the mess of the past– it’s about how “I get” to clean it up. Even to this day I am in a mode of constant awareness.
A gift of sobriety is a new way of living. I am free….
To my innermost self, I had to admit that I was an alcoholic and my way wasn’t working.
Only a God of my understanding could remove this from me and restore me to sanity, which meant letting the beliefs of a religious God go. Instead of the fearful, punishing judgment God that I was taught, I found a loving Higher Power. My God is my very own protector, my first love, my source of validation, security, love and comfort to whom I surrendered “all of my affairs.”
I no longer search for these things in people, places or things. I am able to set “loving” boundaries, have self respect and awareness. I get to have healthy relationships by releasing my expectations of people. By keeping focus in my lane, I am accepting and forgiving with tolerance and love. With new perception, I am able to understand that there are sick people and I will never be able to understand why they do what they do.
Because of recovery, I am present - I look you in the eye and see you. No longer, am I worried about what has happened in the past or fearful of the future. I can take a deep breath and exhale with gratitude.
I get to be a Mom “sober” by breaking chains, teaching my children responsibilities and boundaries, and what love is. In sobriety, I am immersed into motherhood and show them unconditional love and protection.
I get to be a wife who is 100% in and always learning to be a better person in my marriage. Learning how to communicate feelings has made me able to understand that I’m responsible for my emotional health and I am able to pour in love and light without judgment and shame.
I get to run a profitable business. The rewards of this have taken me further than I could ever dream. From a lifestyle that I never thought I deserved to a good credit score! Holy smokes I had the worst credit–I owed debt to collectors and couldn’t afford 20 bucks of gas to put in my car. Now, I’m able to have passion and vision on how to support and better myself for my clients.
Today I am able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of my life story. I love myself –ALL OF IT!
No matter what I won’t turn back to alcohol because I know everything will be taken from me. Then, I will be back in the never ending darkness–I am so very afraid of that. Instead, I turn to God in every situation, good and bad. I thank God, my program, my sponsor, and the women I surround myself with that are also sober. To everyone in my program who has loved and supported me through this journey, I am grateful; I couldn’t have done it without being honest and without my fellowship.
If you are struggling with alcohol and need help, I am here to help. If I could do it you could do it. You’re worth it.
11 Years Sober
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