There are times in my life that are worthy of celebration and today I am unabashedly celebrating the fact that I am 8 years sober!!
Look at that girl right there…she looks strong, happy and fierce am I right?
Looks can often be deceiving but these days I do indeed have a deep sense of serenity, courage and wisdom that are not my own. Each and every day I borrow these warrior traits from God and each and every day I learn how to accept life for what it is. If you’re reading this, perhaps you’re wondering what my life looked like before recovery and for 8 years now I’ve been trying to nail that down. Please feel free to head to the article I wrote titled “My Story – Alcoholism Isn’t Easy to Face” to get a glimpse into this outwardly high functioning alcoholic’s story to have a baseline to get to know me.
It’s not easy to face the fallout of addiction…which is exactly why so many of us take a LONG time to do it. We are so ashamed of our behaviours, we so DEEPLY hate the things we do and ultimately our addiction whispers lies to us, telling us to numb out and continue using the crutch which causes most of the devastation in our lives.
Thankfully on February 6th, 2010 I woke and my world shifted. I realized that I had written a suicide note while in a black-out drunk and a cold, dark knowing hit my soul. I knew that I didn’t know myself anymore. I knew that the control I had been fighting for was lost. The alcohol I had relied upon was now putting my life and others in danger. I couldn’t predict my behaviours…I was on the edge of a cliff and I believed I would die if I didn’t get help.
I sought out a 12 Step program, I stopped sweeping my own shit under a rug and in the cold, harsh light of day I whispered the words “I am an alcoholic” to myself.
There isn’t enough space here to write out what the past 8 years has been like but in a nutshell, I re-entered the world with battle scars and began to learn. I learned how to process and cope with my emotions which I hadn’t felt fully since I was a child. I began to see who I am and how very un-unique I am. I now see my place in the world is one where we are all interconnected…and I began to be willing to share that space. I have sought strength and wisdom from other humans, gobbling it up as it was graciously given.
Sober life isn’t easy…I fall often into feeling less-than, allowing my ego to take over. Thankfully each and every time I’ve been able to recover myself and turn back to being “awake” to the joys that life has to offer amidst the challenges.
If you are someone who is facing an addiction or have someone in your life who is…remember to be kind to yourself. None of us is perfect and we need to seek personal progress rather than perfection. In our culture, we are often taught to strive to be the BEST….never to admit weakness and continue on with a stiff upper lip. Well I say to hell with all of that!
We are beautifully made with our flaws; we fall down; we weep in misery….and then we bloody well get up! These scars of mine are freaking beautiful. They have afforded me the perspective which has me grateful in each and every day.
There is freedom in that my friends.
Today I am celebrating my sober life. I celebrate God’s grace and the gifts he gives me. I celebrate you ALL here who support me. I celebrate my family and friends who have held me up. I celebrate the addict who is reading this and will now know a glimmer of hope…..today I celebrate LIFE.