10 months, 305 days, over 7,000 hours….. sober…. big deal? kind of… I didn’t make it this far the first time around. To many it may not seem that 10 months sober is a reason to celebrate or even worth mentioning. But to me it represents the hardest work I have ever done, which at times has been incredibly painful. I have learned more about the real me in 10 months than I had in my previous 38 years. Everyday I wake I am grateful for another day of sobriety. I pray that if it is Gods will that I will stay sober another day. I am given the opportunity to make the right choices, be present to those I love and encounter, be honest, be patient, and admit when I am wrong. Is this difficult at times? Yes, I’m sober, not perfect😉. But going back to the dark, lonely, and sad world of addiction is just a place I absolutely do not want to re-visit, ever!
10 months ago, I awoke in a locked unit, a detox unit. Terrified, yes, more importantly, an overwhelming sense of relief. I was done, finished, exhausted. I had surrendered. While hospitalized, I wrote a letter to my addiction, a goodbye of sorts. I recently came across it and would like to share it.
I suppose you could say we started out innocently enough. Warm and inviting, “giving me” a sense of self-confidence (or so I thought), to a gal who was desperate for even a glimmer or shred of confidence. When we were together I became funny and flirty, engaging, and confident. I was led to believe that I belonged in any situation, and was liked by everyone.
Over a few years, your ugliness and true intentions began to appear, but I was not ready to give you up or break away. I was not willing to notice our abusive relationship. My reputation as “Fun Katie” or “Life of the party” became not so much fun anymore. Broken promises of only one drink, or being the designated driver, was occurring more often than not. I was becoming obsessed with you-even when I “thought” I didn’t want you. You became all-encompassing in my day-to-day life! I could rationalize why you were so important to me, more so than my loved ones. How sick is that? I said NO MORE!
But you are a temptress, just like an abusive relationship. I kept coming back, thinking this time it will be different. I thought; I can stop drinking anytime!, only one drink!, I haven’t had a drink in 2 weeks, so its ok to drink tonight, or work is so stressful, it’s the only way I can unwind! So many lies, so many excuses, so much manipulation, and so much un- manageability. I was broken and defeated, your grasp on me was slowly killing me.
We did break up for a brief period, and life was ok. I was putting the pieces of my life puzzle back together. Unfortunately I became too vulnerable, and you seduced me. How did this happen again? Those around me couldn’t grasp how I could take you back. Why wasn’t I strong enough to just stop and walk away?
I am truly blessed with loved ones who got me the help I so desperately needed and desired. The relief (overwhelming), that I finally surrendered and admitted that I was powerless over you (alcohol), felt like I was finally able to breathe after nearly drowning.
You are but a symptom of this horrible disease called alcoholism. I am completely powerless to you, but I know what I must do in order to keep me well and sober. Just as chemotherapy is the medication used to treat cancer; meetings, the 12 steps, my sponsor, being honest, humble, and patient are my medication. Everyday is a battle, But I simply need to follow my treatment plan on a daily basis.
I am slowly realizing that I don’t hate you, what good would that do for me and my recovery? I need to learn to respect you, (keep you enemies close). You can be awakened at anytime and our destructive relationship could be rekindled. It is Completely up to me to use the tools I have been given and learning to use every day. By the grace of God, I have been given another chance, and to that, I am eternally grateful. I cannot and will not underestimate your power, but most definitely will not give you anymore power. I have too much to live for!
A grateful alcoholic.
10 months ago I was defeated and scared, today I am full gratitude. I think that’s a reason to celebrate.