Happy Sober Birthday to Me!
Seven years, ya'll!
Seven years ago, my life was a mess. I was on a horrible, never-ending hamster wheel of internal pain, shame and fear and I had no idea how to break away from my friend alcohol. The feelings that lived within my heart were too big and scary for me to fight, so I'd drink them away. I pretended that those feelings would disappear if I could just figure out a way to push them far enough outside of my heart. So, every day, all day, I would stuff them deep down. The feelings couldn't get me if I was numbing them away. But, guess what? They found me. They chased me down and I had but "two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort." (AA Big Book p. 25-26)
I could go on living a sad, lonely, deceitful life or I could ask God to help me. Those were my options.
It took me a million “day ones” to finally surrender to God and ask for help and on the morning of January 18, 2014, He brought my husband to me, face to face and asked me what I needed.
“I need help.”
When those words finally escaped my lips and my heart, everything began to change. It was as close to a “white light” moment as I could ever experience. Saying those three words were magical and gave me just enough of a glimmer of hope to believe that not only could I get help, but I was deserving of it…if I was “willing to make the effort.”
And I was.
Seven years later, my life is amazing. I did the work and I continue doing it daily, because with it, my life has been healed. My family has been healed. My heart has been healed.
I do the work and I’ve learned that “I can’t keep the gift if I don’t give it away”…so, I share my experience, strength and hope with others so that they can have that same glimmer of “maybe this will work for me too” that might allow them to find a new life for themselves. I share the gift that was so freely given to me by the incredible people of my recovery world, especially my tribe of sober women. The tribe that keeps me yearning for another one day at a time. The tribe that keeps me honest and humble and reminds me that I am only one drink away from going right back to the hell I was living before January 18, 2014. I share with them and they share with me and we recover together. And they remind me that I don’t have to go back there ever again, if I just don’t pick up a drink. Just for today. One day at a time.
It’s truly the most beautiful gift I’ve ever received. I am a miracle.
If you’re struggling with alcohol, or know someone who is, believe me when I tell you that there is hope. There is help and a brand new life is right there for the taking, but you have to do the work and that begins with three little words: I need help.