Sunday, July 15, 2012

279 Days

I can't believe that I am coming up on one year sober. That feels insane to me. I am amazed everyday at how much I have grown and how much more I appreciate and embrace who I am. There have been incredible challenges in the last two months but even more amazing victories. Sometimes I feel like I am watching someone else's journey. Its interesting to watch how differently I react to trials and the strength that it takes to grow and learn from them without mentally checking out. Most times I am shocked when I come back down and realize that strong woman is me! I unexpectedly had the most difficult night last night. I'm still a little confused on what triggered it, I think it must have been stress and the way the weather was yesterday, but I wanted to drink. Not just a couple of drinks, I wanted to be carefree and out of control. It hit me quick and lasted all day. I have been able to control the random cravings myself until this one hit. I called my Dad around 6:00pm last night angry and crying, it wasn't the slight cravings I usually have, this one was screaming at me to run up to the gas station and make it happen. Its amazing how this disease still, after 8 months and 29 days violently screams lies in your face. I believe I was more confused than anything. I had made it through the bar scene, bonfires, birthday parties, nice days on the patio, and even canoeing and trips to the lake, how can the weather on a random day trigger me to relapse? It was very scary for me, I felt like I was in a physical fight to defend the hard work and progress I've made, haunted by the insecure, terrified, lonely, angry and hurting girl I used to be. I drove to my parents house in Mount Vernon to find my Aunt, Uncle and two of my cousins sitting around a fire pit in the middle of the yard. We laughed and cried together while watching shooting stars and enjoying the summer night. I am EXTREMELY happy to say that I won the battle and because of that am even stronger than before. I am so thankful for my family and faith in God. Today would have played out much differently if I didn't have those two things in my life to keep my head above water when I'm not strong enough to do it myself. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

23 Weeks & 3 Days...

Its been awhile since I have written about my journey but I have had some pretty heavy things placed on my heart recently. I am 23 weeks and 3 days sober today. I wish I could say that its been a piece of cake, but unfortunately it hasn't. I can truthfully and whole heartedly say however that it is undeniably worth it. It has been a little harder for me lately now that Spring is here. You have to understand that I used to spend 95% of my free time on my back patio, entertaining myself with a bottle of vodka and the computer for hours and sometimes days at a time. Now, I still spend 95% of my free time on the patio with a ice cold glass of flavored water or energy drink. I still pour it into my "drinking" glass for fun. My patio is the peaceful place I retreat to in order to get away from all the craziness, in fact I am sitting here as I write this, listening to the birds and watching my weimaraner chase squirrels, but it doesn't provide the hours of entertainment like it used to. I'm not tempted to drink, but I crave it badly sometimes. Beer goes with grilling, bourbon goes with a campfire, vodka is refreshing after mowing the lawn. One day and one victory at a time.
As I watch people that used to be close to me struggle with addiction my heart hurts so deeply I can't describe it. I can't imagine how helpless my family and friends must have felt over the last 3 years watching me destroy my life. I want to scream, cry, hold, shake, pray with and help these people so badly! I want them to know that although they feel free in their "it's my life and I call the shots" kind of way, the reality is that they're prisoners to their addictions and don't even realize it. It's the hardest thing a person will ever do to give up a real life addiction. It takes courage, humility, honesty and bravery to face the things you are running from, and to give up somthing that has become a very real part of your life. I want people to know its okay to be mad, its okay to be sad, its okay to feel lost, its okay to be alone, its okay to be embarrased, its okay to talk about it, it's okay to embrace it and be proud of it. Being bold is what got you here, be even more bold, let go of the control it has on your life. The real freedom comes with each new day, everyday you are free, CELEBRATE IT! I heard it said best a few weeks ago, that having a new life away from addiction will transform you into a living person instead of one who just exists day to day.
 Please be brave enough to ask for help! It doesn't make you weak, staying where you are however does. Asking for help will make you strong again. I believe in you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

12 Weeks of Life.

 Tomorrow will be 12 weeks sober and wow how things have changed.  It’s amazing to look back now at the old life I used to live. I know 12 weeks isn’t a very long time, but it seems like it was years ago. I don't know how I ever survived a single day relying on myself to make even the simplest day to day decisions. The bad times aren't nearly as hard and the good times are considered amazing blessings now. My eyes are open and I am alive. I see differently, I feel differently, I speak differently and see life differently.
 I have read several books recently one is called Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. My friend Sarah had given it to me almost two years ago and told me I MUST read it. I took one look at the front of the book. It said something about "Unveiling a Woman's Soul", I put it down, annoyed at the title and didn't touch it again until a few weeks ago. This book has changed me in a lot of ways. I had several relationships after my divorce, each one had its ups and downs, some of the guys were genuinely good guys and I was drawn to them because I felt safe from life and myself. The other guys, well, I believe they saw me as prey, vulnerable and insecure. I was completely blinded in my own self-inflicted pain and choices. On the outside I was happy, successful and enjoying life. But on the inside I was screaming! I hated who I was. I hated the choices I made. I hated that I was "that girl".
I have been raised in a Christian home, with amazing parents, sisters and extended family. I know the difference between right and wrong, I know the things I am supposed to do and the way I should have felt. I believed it, but I didn't live it. I get it now! I finally really understand it. It’s not about being perfect! I don't have to be. That's not what Jesus wants from me. He knew I would mess up. He knew I was going to fall flat on my face, literally and figuratively. It was him that picked me up off the cold parking lot that night downtown when I busted my face. It was him who took care of me. He didn't say "Oh that girl, yeah I have no idea who she is, but dang she is one hot mess of a disaster."   NO!  He said, "Come on love, let’s go home and rest, I will take care of you, I love you and even with your black eye and out of control emotions, you are beautiful"
I heard it said perfectly a few days ago. God is like the navigation system we have in our vehicles or on our phones. He has set a life with him as our destination point. We can take any route we choose, sometimes it’s through a muddy, dark, scary, gravel road in the middle of nowhere with evil things screaming at us from behind the trees. Jesus doesn't shut off and say "I don't know where you are going figure this out yourself, your got yourself here you can figure out how to get back on the paved road" 
He is constantly with us, no matter what route we take. He is always recalculating how to get us to the original destination, Eternal life. I am thankful for the updates he loads into my spiritual navigation system on a daily basis. I can't make it though a single minute without him. He loves me, he calls my scars beautiful and has amazing plans for me.