What a difference a year makes!!

You could never know what its like

Your blood like winter freezes just like ice

And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you

You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use.

And did you think this fool could never win

Well look at me, I’m coming back again

I got a taste of love in a simple way

And if you need to know while I’m still standing you fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did

Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid

I’m still standing after all this time

Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing…

Elton John

                                                                                   

I’m here, I have arrived.  1 year, 365 days, 8,760 hours.  Although to get technical today marks my last drunk, tomorrow marks my 1st sober day.   I get confused as to which day is the official anniversary, so I plan on honoring both😊.  There would be no sober date without the last drunk date.

Holy cow!  A lot has happened over the last year!  The biggest, waking up in a hospital, ashamed, sad, and scared; but utterly relieved that I didn’t have to lie or hide or feel like crap anymore…I had Surrendered, and Admitted that I was completely Powerless over alcohol.  I was so ready to feel better and move on.  Little did I know how difficult that would be. Through  heartache, resentments, anger, dishonesty, selfishness, and depression (just to name  few),  I have persevered and found my true self, a scared, lonely, unhappy little girl, to no fault but her own.  I discovered the reasons for my addiction, more importantly, why I fed the disease.

Glenda from the Wizard of Oz said it best; “You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” (I know I’ve used this quote in a previous post;)

That power includes genuinely liking me, for who I am, I am exactly who, where, and what I should be, (this is still a work in progress, darn control issues;).   My faith and spirituality has changed and grown immensely.  My kids have their mom who is present every day and love them more than words.  I have a job that I am truly passionate about, and my coworkers and patients can depend upon on me.  And my family and friends’ know the real and healthy Katie.

I am entirely grateful to those who have saved my life (some remain anonymous, but I know who you are and carry you close to my heart).  Without the program of AA, my ‘sober sisters’, sponsor, the Cleveland Clinic alcohol and drug recovery program, and most importantly my higher power(God), I would be broken, or in jail, or dead.  By the grace of God I’m still here, standing, excited for the future, but living in the moment, one day at a time.

 

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A lesson learned

“You’ve always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself”

Glinda,  Wizard of Oz

Ok, so I realize this quote is from a fictional character in a world-famous movie, but it really resonates with me.  For much of my adult life I hid behind the shadows of others, behind shame, and behind fear.  I constantly worried about what others thought of  me and was always the people pleaser. Too many times I compromised my beliefs, my opinions, my wants and needs because I was too afraid to speak up for myself.

When I drank, those fears and insecurities disappeared, or so I thought.  I exuded self-confidence, or so I thought.  I had power, or so I thought.

That’s the cunning, powerful, and baffling part of addiction.  It is the great and masterful impersonator.  An almighty manipulator.  A chameleon ready to pounce at its victims weakest point.

My addiction had all the power, I was fooled time and time again.  It wasn’t until I fully surrendered that my view-point changed.  I took back the power when I admitted that I was (still am) completely and utterly powerless over alcohol.  One drink is too many and 5 or 6 is never enough.

I have the power to make choices. If  I make the choice (God forbid), to pick up a drink, game over.  For this reason I say the First Step whenever need be :”We admitted  we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Powerless over alcohol, yes, but I am taking back the power over my feelings, my happiness, my beliefs, and my dreams.  Although my power never really disappeared, it was just a bit tarnished.