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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Happy Anniversary

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.

01/2014

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!

Signed

A grateful alcoholic.

10 months ago I was defeated and scared, today I am full gratitude.  I think that’s a reason to celebrate.