I recently celebrated two years of sobriety; it was 11 days ago to be exact. When I first gave up drinking, the thought that I would be too busy to blog about sobriety because I was having a blast living in the real world would have been too far out for me to believe.
But two years have passed and so have so many feelings between then and now. I think the most remarkable change I have had is the fact that I wake up happy Every. Single.Day. From a woman who would loathe going to sleep because I would have to wake up the next day, being in a position to say every day is a blessing to me hardly makes sense. But it’s true. I have cleaned out the closet of my past and it’s not too scary to move forward. I’ve been to countless meetings, have had hundreds of talks with my sponsor, and have had an infinite amount of conversations in my own head-healthy ones, I am happy to report.
The old me would roll out of bed reeking of last night’s alcohol. I was bitter because I had to go to work, I had to grade papers, I had to be a parent, I had to be responsible. In short, I had to live. I would greet every morning in much the same way: shamed because I didn’t know what I had said, done, texted, emailed the night before. A quick look through my phone would generally confirm my fears: I had done something I regretted. Rather than own what I had done, I would throw myself into a pit of guilt and shame. Then, having worked myself into a tremendous frenzy of self-loathing and hate, I would lash out at whoever was closest to me. It was a terrible way to live and I didn’t even know there was a way out.
But there is a way out. I am proof. I am a miracle. I was so far down the ladder, the rungs had run out. By the grace of God, I am alive today. I wake up most mornings in a fit of happiness. My life is good. I go to work; I pay bills; I make mistakes; I forget to fill by gas tank; I grade lots and lots of papers; I deal with in-laws; I get sick; I get to deal with two little boys trying to become young men but like to fight just the same; and I deal with other family members’ addictions.
Through it all, I am happy. The power of positive thinking has evolved in me. I can take a bad situation and find the silver lining. I can keep my opinions to myself and not throw fuel on a fire. I can hold my spoon of gossip and refuse to stir the pot. Every time I refrain from an old behavior, I reinforce in my mind that I do have worth; I am valuable; and that this world is not better off without me. Most mornings, I wake up and think how lucky I am that I have another day to try out my new behaviors, especially when the day before didn’t go so well. I refuse to let crabby people rain on my day. I smile more and it feels good.
I was grocery shopping last night when I heard some singing. It was pretty good! Curious, I went around the corner and there was this girl twirling around singing. Her mom said, “I am sorry. It’s constant with her. She never stops.”
I smiled at her and told her I rather enjoyed it. “It could be worse,” I said. “She could be screaming and crying all the way through the store. Let’s be thankful she isn’t.”
She looked at me and said, “You’re right. I never thought of it like that.”
It is moments like that I feel so good inside; I am able to help other people see the good in this world. This may not seem like a big deal to some; but to this recovering alcoholic and a child of God, it means the world. My ability to think in a positive way has powerfully impacted my life.
I am a firm believer today that what you think about, you bring about. And since I spent enough time in my life thinking and behaving in a negative way, every second I have to be positive, I plan to be.