Today, I am celebrating six months of sobriety. So, I’d first like to thank the Academy for giving me this opportunity….Funny, I woke up this morning and looked out my window. No parade. No balloons. No diamond bracelet.
If this monthiversary had happened last week in the midst of my depression, I would more than likely be sitting at a bar drinking. I have had my ups and downs without a doubt. In fact, forgetting to renew my antidepressants about did me in. I started to question why I was even sober. I wondered aloud if being sober was all it’s cracked up to be. I felt so miserable that I blamed my sobriety and my self for being useless. In short, the dark voices crept back in and thought they were going to take a seat for a while without being invited. And they did take a seat.Uninvited. Rude. Bastards. I had a thought that even drinking would not cure my mind but that suicide would.That was much scarier than most thoughts I had right before I would black out from drinking. I could not see how my life was changing; I was oblivious to the blessings I do have. Instead, I was looking at the “have nots.”
Somehow, way beyond me, I did have thoughts that were gentle. They told me I knew better and that I had a decision to make. Did I want to have a “yet” in terms of what I didn’t have yet due to drinking? Did I want to have a tombstone that my children would see and have to live with in their lives because I decided I wasn’t worth it? Did I want to spend Mother’s Day in jail due to a DUI? Did I want to throw away the painstaking work I have done for the past six months? No, I did not.
I am lucky and I am blessed. My first grateful recipient is my HP. My Higher Power kept nudging me to do the next right thing so I did. Given that my behavior is erratic, chaotic, jealous and envy-based when I am drinking and/or not seeking help, the fact that I see sunshine today and am smiling is nothing short of a miracle. Nothing is worth going back to how I felt November 7, 2013. The shameful red faced, emblazoned cheeks with heat emanating down to my core past my rapid heart rate were not my idea of a good time.My second recipient of the Good Golly Miss Molly You Are Amazing Award goes to the fine people over at BFB on Yahoo groups. Countless time, I have seen the miracle of people helping people selflessly and making a sober difference. So, yesterday, I jumped on the BFB on Yahoo and asked for help. The messages and private emails I received brought me to my knees. Love from total strangers.
Next, my gals from AA are most worthy. From all walks of life and all stages of sobriety from one day to 32 years, they each touch me to my core. One gal I texted was busy; she had a coworker over and could not talk. (God love her; she told me to get over myself and write a gratitude list. I laughed then and I laugh now; she was spot on!), I called another friend from AA who listened compassionately and then told me to call my sponsor. My sponsor?? I can’t have her see me like this! No, I have my coin meeting/dinner tomorrow night; she doesn’t need this. On the other end of the phone: Silence.
Me: “Hello? Are you still there?”
My friend: “Linda. Two things: 1) We like you better with jam on your face and 2) Is this your perfectionism talking?”
I never felt so loved in my life. I have friends who want me to be REAL. Be HONEST. Be ME. I can make mistakes and know that they will be there for me anyway. All I have to do is tell the truth (which some days is so, so, so hard because I want everyone to like me and then I quickly realize I am not running for office so it doesn’t matter .) This lesson learned is that when I tell the truth, I feel loved.
So, I called my sponsor. “Hi, it’s Linda. I’m telling on myself. I acted like a jackass and I have a few things I did today that make me less than proud.” True to form, she listened, offered suggestions, pointed out patterns and then asked if I decided where I wanted to go to celebrate. Ha! Truth= Love = Genuine.
The men in my AA group are fantastic, too. They know we are all there for one reason: Sobriety. It’s not a dating service; no one’s asking for phone numbers; no one sponsors opposite sex members; it’s all on the up-and-up. This takes so much pressure off in so many ways. I know when I am asked to do something, it’s because there is a legitimate need for the GROUP.
I’d also like to thank those of you who have followed me on this blog. Many of you email me personally and that helps me in so many ways. Knowing you relate, have a similar issue, or even a joke, make this journey fantastic. We are not unique in our alcoholism, but we are unique.
My brother has also been a remarkable source of energy, support, suggestions and love over the past six months. He calls to check in and keeps me honest. I often will get an email with an attachment on some “homework” to do. This makes him laugh because I am the teacher in the family and he is giving me homework. 🙂
My husband and my kids deserve an award, too. They are my precious daily reminders of why I want to be present. Their laughter, questions, homework issues, all of it. I wouldn’t trade it for a huge cup of Captain and coke sloshing around. But at one point I did.
By the grace of God, my fellowship, my friends, today I am sober.
So, today, the sun is shining. I am feeling calm and peaceful.