Just a brief heads up that I’m still here and still sober! Today is day 189. I can’t believe I’ve passed the 6 month mark! So much has changed that it’s hard for me to even remember my drunk life (even though it lasted more than 10 years). It’s funny, I think, how that happens. How we can change our lives so much that years ago seem like an entirely different lifetime. Being in high school was a different life, my first marriage, my second husband’s deployment, my college years, my before-kids life…all different people living different lives. And here I am…6 months into the best one yet–my sober life.
I remember before I stopped drinking, thinking about how I should probably stop drinking. I would get so angry at my kids. All. The. Time. Mostly it was because they wouldn’t hurry up fast enough so I could get my first glass of merlot. Hurry–take a bath. Hurry–get dressed. Hurry–get in bed and go to sleep. Hurry–get up and get in the car before the store closes and I can’t get any more alcohol tonight. Hurry up and let your life pass by while I stay passed out on the couch.
I think I’m finally starting to feel some of the guilt that I kept suppressed for my own emotional well-being. I have sat down with my kids to read them a book or watch a movie or talk with them and thought about how none of that was possible while I was drinking. How distant I was. They would ask me to spend time with them and I was annoyed because I was only focused on pouring more poison into my body. I think about the times I drove them around when I was clearly too intoxicated to do so. And now I feel shame. Guilt. I am so blessed and so grateful that one of those nights didn’t destroy my world. That I got to keep everything that means anything to me, even though I risked it frequently. There are people more deserving of me who haven’t been so lucky.
I am reading a book that has been helping about that. It is titled Uncensored Grace: Stories of Hope From The Streets of Vegas by Jud Wilhite and Bill Taffe. It discusses people at a Church in Vegas who were horribly broken and full of sin. It tells their stories and how they found grace even in the darkest parts of their lives. The big reminder is that you can ALWAYS start over. You can erase the past and you can’t undo what has been done, but every day is a new chance to start fresh. There are people who have it worse than me and, as a counselor, I give them hope and faith that they can turn things around. I need to believe the same is also possible for myself and my own life.
Anyway, I just wanted to drop in real fast to let anyone who is interested know that I’m doing great. I am going to the beach with my boyfriend and the kids tomorrow so I’ll be happily off the chart for a couple of days at least. We just got back from DC two weeks ago where we had an amazing time. It’s nice to wrap up the summer with these short but relaxing trips. 🙂
Oh, I also ran a 6K back in July. I got 2nd place in my age division. The race was called “Heroes in Recovery” and was to reduce the stigma against mental health and substance abuse treatment. 🙂