Today is my 12 year sobriety anniversary. I received a text from a friend in the fellowship this morning asking me if I remember what my life was like 12 years ago. I certainly do and it hardly resembled the life I have today.
What did I lose when I entered the program over a decade ago? Many things and most of them I don't miss at all. Mainly, I lost the idea that I could never enjoy or be successful in life without the aid of alcohol, drugs, food, cigarettes or dependency on other people.
I picture myself the first day I entered the rooms of recovery and this is what I imagine: a girl dressed in professional attire who was hiding BIG secrets. My work suit masked the fact that I was addicted to cocaine, reliant on alcohol, actively binging and purging with food each day, having casual sexual relations and failing to show up for my responsibiliites in life. On the outside, I looked pretty normal but on the inside I was a shrivelled, despairing mess.
I dont know where all the time has gone but I do know that I feel worthy of my 12 year coin. My life may not be the picture of ease and enjoyment I hoped for but it is certainly the picture of blessings, fullness, richness and enlightenment I desired. I walked into the program an empty soul and surface today with admirable character.
I am grateful I no longer wake up with hangovers. I am grateful I no longer exchange my soul for the attention of men. I am grateful I no longer follow my parents dictates without questioning my own values. I am grateful I am an excellent parent who shows up for her child and allows him to develop in his own beautiful way. I am grateful for my desire to work on my marriage during difficult times and my desire to treat my husband as the good friend that he is. I am grateful for my ability to show up for my parents when they are ill and my entire family for their trials and celebrations. I am grateful for my job, my ability to make amends for past absences and my ability to contribute to the greater good of patients.
My list of things I am grateful for could go on ad finitum. Every where I turn I see something recovery has given me. I still have an alcoholic mind that wants to see what it missing, but with 12 years of hindsight, its hard to take my alcoholic mind seriously.
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