One year ago I sat in shame, determined to change my ways, having admitted I was an alcoholic and accepting that my life would never be the same I expected to go to AA and find the program which would begin the process.
I’ve spoken about the shame in previous blogs and for those who are or have felt it you know how it feels so heavy, like you’ve just tread water for hours and can’t walk out of the pool heavy.
I knew I’d never again be reaching for my wine glass/bowl out of it’s designated cabinet. Oh how I remember that eager reach, looking through the collection of glasses to decide which would be my companion for the evening. This process was now dead to me. And I was scared. My body and soul wanted to avoid this all together!
But I had committed myself to it, resigned myself really….my will to live fully and blind faith were spurring me on.
In typical fashion I wanted to fix this immediately and achieve success!
When I came through the doors of AA, head hung but knowing I had my family’s support I think I expected to be in school. I have come to accept it is a form of education but for me personally it’s more of a spiritual journey. There is no graduation for me.
In the very early days I daydreamed of my 1 year celebration, I was fortunate in my first month to attend a hand full of them. They were amazing, inspiring and humbling. I had of course planned my attire…..in the end I decided for glitz, dammit I would find a dress full of shine to mark MY BIG DAY.
I was excited at the thought of choosing a speaker, a woman of course preferably from my home group with whom I planned on sharing this journey and having her total support and her knowing all my intimate details. That’s what they do right?
During my 2nd week I got a tattoo. I am a tattoo girl, have a back full of awesome art and wanted to reflect my commitment to God visibly, I even hoped that one day someone would ask about it and the conversation about AA could begin.
I was hopped up thankful!
Here’s the tat, it’s on my left upper arm. Serenity prayer in different directions.
I love this tattoo, I find a lot of amusement in the fact that I see it all day and wouldn’t be able to avoid it if I ever reached for a wine again…guffaw. And it has in fact been a conversation starter.
I remember googling sober celebrities, looking to have an idol of sorts….well less of an idol than an artist I already dug who was sober. PINK!! Whoopee she was sober, OK cool I can deal with Pink. There were many others but she sticks in my mind cuz seriously that woman is wicked bad ass.
This song and vid has been my favorite since I truly listened to it again last February.
So in the beginning I was filling my time with meetings, family, work and utterly focused on learning AA. I avoided thinking past the current day….often the current hour. I worried about having sex sober….attending social events sober….making amends….so many things to fill my mind.
Slowly that has changed, the car accident has truly slowed me down, physically, mentally and emotionally. God definitely has a sense of humor!
I’m still attending meetings, speaking even which is a trip to say the least. Thankfully my use of profanity as a descriptive words seems to be receding, I’d hate to take away from my message by offending the tender ears of my fellow alcoholics.
I am fulfilled by my life with my husband, children and God. But after a year I can breath without having to fill the silence. My brain doesn’t go on overdrive immediately anymore. I don’t feel impending doom around the corner.
I don’t worry about what I’m going to wear at the 1yr celebration on the 22nd. I will probably show up in yoga pants and a sweatshirt but I promise friends to have showered hahaha.
I don’t have just 1 woman in AA who is my confidant, I don’t have someone who knows all of my intimate details. I didn’t have a sponsor until recently…..what I have had is MANY people who were willing to share, support, pray for me, call me on my avoidance and bs. In short I have rooms full of people who are willing to do life’s journey with me both in AA and out of it.
I am excited for this 1 year celebration, I was humming and hawing (I live in a hick town…get used to the hootenanny talk every now and again) about the speaker I would choose. I had prayed on it, I wanted someone of Faith, someone who was involved in my recovery but someone who doesn’t speak often around here. Impact!
There’s this guy, the one person my sister knew in AA who she approached about me and my drinking before my recovery. He spoke with her, actually met with my hubby and helped them understand my disease before I was aware I had it. This guy has done brekkie with my hubby, shared his story and prayed for my recovery.
I’ve met him a few times at church and think he is an intriguing person who I immediately related to. I’ve been meaning to meet up with his wife who is also sober but just haven’t matched schedules.
So I after hubby recommending this guy I gave him a call. He doesn’t attend meetings anymore often, he volunteers his time elsewhere and I’m so jazzed to say HE SAID YES!!
I can’t wait to have him speak!!
Funny how perspective changes with time and effort. This one year has almost nothing to do with me in my perspective. All I’ve done is turn my will and my life over to God each and every day. Other people have done the hard stuff for me, living before me and developing the program of AA. God provides everything else I need. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always sunshine and bloody roses, it’s hard work but it’s not my strength I rely upon.
If you are there at home on this Sunday night, tired from a weekend of running around, pleasing others, being someone you think you want to be but not who you are….filling your head with stuff….events, projects and other time fillers. PAUSE. Check your motivation.
Don’t just reach for that coveted glass which will change your feelings or reach for whatever crutch/idol you’re using.
PAUSE and consider sitting in the silence and listening for the truth.
Sober Mommy says
Congratulations on your mile stone!!!! I love the tattoo as well :)
ILoveMyDogandMy Music says
Bravo!! You should be very proud of yourself. I like your tat…. I know it has been difficult, but you are doing fantastic..
Kristin H. says
I love the tattoo. Many years ago during a former stint in recovery, I accompanied a fellow AA friend to get a tattoo. He had the passage on Acceptance from page 449 (3rd edition) tattoed on his upper arm. I thought that was pretty ballsy considering he had always had so much difficulty staying sober. Congratulations on your soon-to-be milestone. I love love LOVE birthdays. Especially the AA ones :)
Congratulations my dear girl! This was such an honest, reflective post. I struggle with "stillness" as I prefer to be in constant motion, so even a small task like watching a movie can make me crawl out of my skin. I no longer reach for my fav. wine glass either. I can't drink a fishbowl of merlot anymore when I'm getting ready for an event. I go in clean and sober, and I go out clean and sober. I loved that you planned your outfit, that is so me,and yet I know very few people notice what I dress in, so it wouldn't have mattered what I would have worn. You will bling bling just because you are sober, you have grown, grown up, and you live your life each and every day, still or in motion and it doesn't matter because you own it! Hugs…..
Sober Julie says
Thanks everyone!! I'm on a hunt for a bit of bling now and am totally researching my next tattoo for my inner right arm lol. This time I don't feel pressure to get it done immediately, I think patience is a good thing now.
Jess Mistress of Mischief says
Happy 1st SoBerThday!http://www.mediafire.com/sobrietyfirst That's a file share site with lots of great speakers famous, infamous and all the stages in between and lots of other fun stuff too.
Congratulations,great post!!!!!Love the tattoo!!I would totally be planning my outfit also!!