I began WTW because I had a desperate desire to put down the alcohol; not because I wanted to write. But I began to witness this amazing sober community of strength and support and (mostly) non-judgemental attitudes. And these people were doing it! Living sober. And some had been living it for years. AND…..they were happy.
So I wrote.
I felt it might be my last shot.
Well here I am with 1 year and 2 weeks today. Unrecognizable at every turn. I’m at peace with who I am in sobriety and who I am becoming. I am full of hope and look forward to pursuing my remaining years as a sober woman. By God’s grace, I will pass from this world to the next sober. One of my goals is to be a kinder, gentler version of myself. Emphasize the positive traits, temper down the character flaws and defects and mix well with a lot of love! I’m down 15 pounds although part of that was leaving the cheese shop! I love my job now and the people I lead. The gratitude most days is overflowing.
I don’t even blink now when someone asks me why I don’t drink- so rude to begin with. I just look deadpan at them eye to eye and say “Oh you go first and tell me why you do.” Usually there’s an awkward silence and then some mumbling. Gets ’em every time.
Should someone ever actually take me up on it and list reasons, they’ll be listing all the reasons I don’t.
I do not need to drink anymore. Not that I’m cured, oh no way. But way deep down inside of me I feel like a non-drinker. If it weren’t for the lifetime of wretched memories, it would feel like it’s never even been a part of my life.
you all know we all have “those” days.
That’s why it’s so important to work hard to develop those emotional/mental/spiritual muscles and strong self-care routines early on. The healthy habits will help pull you through those times of tests and trials. Along with lots of support from those who’ve gone before you.
this will be my last post for the foreseeable future. I’m leaving the blog in place should I feel inspired. Right now though the thought of writing is painful. I want to enjoy it- not feel burdened by it. It’s just not happening for me now.
I will leave you all with two things:
The first is a link to one of my sober heroes latest blog post. This year did not come easy for me. I started to become a chronic relapser. Her posts are always uplifting and in this latest she writes of why it’s so hard to get/stay sober.
The second is something I read during my morning prayers last week. I immediately thought of this sober community. It is written from one Christian sojourner to another; someone he’s never met.
“It is not surprising if, despite being far apart, we are present to each other….because we are members of one body, we have one head, we are steeped in one grace, we live on one loaf, we walk on one road, and we dwell in the same house.” St. Paulinus of Nola to St. Augustine
Peace and Love to you all and may you be blessed.
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
1 month from today, pray to God, I’ll have 1 solid year of sobriety. It’s hard to believe but then…it’s not. It’s been a battle hard-won. Twenty-two years of head banging, inner conflict and torment. Knowing the truth. Trying to deny it. Work around it. Trick it. Ignore it.
Anything but face it.
The powerlessness. The unmanageability of my life although most of the time, I put on a pretty good show.
The withering of my soul.
Oh yeah, there have been times when the blinders came off and moments where the truth sunk in- even a spirit of willingness. Usually after a humiliation. But the willingness came more from an attempt to redeem myself; in my own eyes as well as for those around me- a bargaining chip- an action originating in pride to soften the sting of idiocy.
The willingness was for the wrong reasons.
But now…everything has changed.
I have not had even one day of taking this sobriety for granted and I’m still in awe that I truly am a new creation.
Thanks be to God.
I’ve had an aversion to all things electronically social these past 3 or 4 months. Kind of like I overdosed. So, I’m unsure as to how long I will continue posting here on WTW. While I do enjoy and derive great satisfaction from the finished product when I post, it’s a long and arduous process. Perfectionism makes it way too time consuming.
But I don’t want to just disappear. I’ve spent most of my life doing just that and it’s a pattern of old behavior that needs to go. And it leaves me feeling unsettled when others do the same.
While I suffer deeply for connection, it’s the thing I have always feared the most.
I used to love the A.A. saying “Live and let live”. Most selfish people do. We take it to mean “Ask nothing of me and I’ll ask nothing of you”. Perfect.
That’s not what it means.
Thank you to all my fellow bloggers (you know who you are) who have seen me through to this amazing point because while I give the glory to the Lord for my sobriety, He sent you, His angels, to me.
Don’t expect much here.
Why’s it I have so much to say in my head and the minute I sit down here, it’s all gone? It’s been about 6 weeks and I’ve got 5 or 6 post titles saved with a few lines in each but haven’t been able to complete even a one.
I think it’s March Madness. My own. Nothing to do with basketball.
It’s always the worst month for me mentally and emotionally. Weather weary. Wardrobe weary. Tired of the black and grey. Brighter colors attract attention and I’d rather not be noticed.
I’m yearning to stay in but anxious to move out. At odds with myself.
I always feel like I’m hatching in the spring. Most times I don’t really want to. Just leave me be. To ramble away…..
Nine months of sobriety feels like a lifetime- in a very good way. I’m still in awe of the fact that sobriety has become who I am.
I am sober.
I don’t drink.
I don’t even think about it.
It’s no longer even a part of my thought process. Strange… it’s almost like alcohol was never a part of my life. Even on the bad days. And seriously, there’s been more than a few of them.
Makes me a little suspicious actually.
What hasn’t felt so good is the growth. I guess it never does. At least while it’s happening. The rewards of perseverance come later. Sometimes much later.
But I trust they will because I trust in the One who began His work in me. He will not leave me unfinished.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
By His grace and mercy @ 9 months, 3/20/18
I’ve been coming to the end of myself lately. You know when you think you’ve made great strides and then BAM, it hits you. They hit you. All those nasties you thought you left behind. Character defects. Personality flaws. With a little (or a lot) of the mental combat thrown in. And self compassion is nowhere to be found. No matter how much you dig.
So what’s happening here?
Despair at what I see. The black hole that always seems to suck every good thing into its swirling oblivion. The black hole always seems to appear after a time of seeing the positive changes and growth within myself.
It’s the all or nothing mindset. And pride and ego are usually not too far away.
And what’s missing?
Gratitude. Compassion. Mercy. Grace.
Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.
I’ve received more than an abundance of both in my life.
Doesn’t take much work these days. Actually, it takes an enormous amount of work in the form of surrender and humility. But I’m willing. It turns around what in the past would have been the beginning of one of those “dark nights” my soul knows all too well.
So much has happened in the last 8 months. Yes, sobriety happened. But I had 9 years of sobriety at the time I was 40 years old and I am so much more now. I was happy and joyful then. Stable to a degree. But I am so much more than that now.
I am healed.
Not from alcoholism but from the fractured and broken emotional bones of childhood trauma. From the self-inflicted pain of young adulthood. From the desire to self destruct.
I am healed.
Of all the self-hatred I nurtured. The perceived notions, hidden from consciousness in the well of confusion and abandonment, that I did not deserve to love or be loved.
I have learned well what it means to be “saved”. I always hated that. Not the thought of salvation but the question: “Are you saved?”
I never realized what that truly meant. Never realized I needed a savior. Never wanted to admit it. But I did. Eventually I did. Realized it and admitted it.
Asked for it. Begged for it. With every part of my being.
You see, Heaven and Hell exist here. They are not some fantastical places up in the sky or in the bowels of the earth. You have the choice of living in either one right now. You have the choice only if you surrender your pride and arrogance. The false belief that you can save yourself. We all need more than ourselves. The one who created us knows what we need to live in peace and joy. You can’t ask yourself; you didn’t create yourself.
Only the inventor knows for what purpose he created his invention.
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. Deuteronomy 30:15-16
I am healed.
I have chosen life over death. Heaven over hell.
I am healed.
Thank you Jesus.
Image credit: Cielo e Infierno (Heaven and Hell) | by Dibus y Deabus
So much has happened and is happening in my life that I am overwhelmed to write a post- don’t know where to begin. Miracle after miracle- the most major is that I have 7 months sobriety! By God’s grace and mercy. I found Hayley because she found me first…. just like it happens with the Lord. Whether it’s anxiety or alcoholism or any other form of enslavement, let Him set you free. Thank you Hayley, for sharing your gift. You have the voice of an angel.
There was a very difficult period in my life when I felt so incredibly lost and lonely and I didn’t know which direction to turn.
I was suffering from acute anxiety that was crippling me in areas of my everyday life.
To look at me I was the picture of health but inside I was a mess and completely lost.
It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour that I truly discovered who I was and ‘found myself’ and found fulfillment in Him.
Jesus desired for me to know Him in the same way that He knew me.
Below are lyrics to part of the chorus of the song ‘Know you’:
I was lost but you came to find me
Leaving the many you would come to draw me back to you
I was empty but you…
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Especially when it comes to certain men.
Certain men that I find appealing.
And really, there are not many that turn my head.
It has little to do with looks and everything to do with demeanor and character. I mean, I’d rather he not be a hunchback or anything. But when that special combination arrives in front of me and the interest appears mutual…..
I give myself away. Just like a happy pooch.
I remember my mom always said: “You need to keep some mystery about you.” I hated that! It seemed dishonest but I’ve always had a tough time distinguishing between what was appropriate to share and with whom. It’s all been very confusing for me.
I can appear to be aloof because I am somewhat reserved. I dislike small talk and having to make conversation. If we talk, let’s get down to it.
I want to know what feeds your soul.
And you can be sure I will tell you what feeds mine. Along with the long drawn out history of the why, who, what, where and how.
But because this takes a lot of energy, let’s only do this if we think we can make a go of it. You know… be friends and all that. I’ve not only approached my romantic interests this way but my women friends as well.
Sometimes I wonder about myself. Less often than I used to… but still. When I look at myself, I see a mess of bloody contradictions. Definitely not gifted in the social arena.
I remember reading somewhere in the blogosphere: “People should earn the privilege of hearing your story.”
If you are the owner of that quote, please claim it! I would like to thank you. I’ve actually started keeping a journal of all the amazing bits of wisdom I’ve read along with the wise men and women that “spoke” them. I want to give the credit where it’s due.
Because you have all been my healers and helpers.
Of course GOD is the master healer because He led me to you all, but I would not be here sober had I not found this amazing and nurturing community.
The good news is that I’m getting used to being in my own skin. With sobriety I have peace. A growing acceptance of the things I can’t change and a strong desire to change what I can. So what if I don’t have all the answers. I do know I am a person of solitude and quite happy with my independence.
I know that my path is total devotion to the Lord. If He sees fit to give me a partner to share in that devotion, my social idiosyncrasies won’t matter…I’ll be loved just as I am.
As I am loved by Him.
In ending, it just struck me that a little mystery is a good thing.
A beautiful thing.
A GOD thing.
Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth to all.