Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Today is my actual birthday. 44 years old. But today marks an even more important day, my sober birthday. It allows me to only be 3 years old. 1096 days ago, I drank my last drink. Vodka and diet coke. I have no idea why I drank that particular blend, I was always a wine drinker, or a fun martini. I guess if I think about it it does have some signifigance in the fact that it reflected where I was in my alcoholism: bored.
Pain and boredom lead to sobriety. No one quits drinking when they are having fun. I knew I was no longer having fun three months before I entered AA. It had just become a necessity. A necessity to get through the day, the problems, the life. I remember thinking on more than one occasion before I sobered up ,"there has to be something better than this." And there was, and is, and there will continue to be.
I had lunch with some friends. Lots of laughter and banter. As I left to run some errands I began reflecting on the past three years. So bare with me as a take a look back on the last three years...
The first year was a roller coaster of emotions. High, low, medium, happy, sad, laughing, crying, etc. What a ride. I was so busy peeling back the onion layer after layer that I felt like I was living in a wind tunnel. So much to learn, so much to fix, so much to remember. Thank God that I had the sponsor I did. A no nonsense gal who took my hand and walked with me every way through the 12 steps. It is a year I will never forget. My "baby" year in so many ways.
My second year was one of challenge. My sponsor told me it was time to fly and I didn't want to leave the nest. I was terrified. What if I couldn't put all these tools and steps into place. It took me a bit to stand on my own two feet and to feel that I was ok on my own. Many things happened in my life during this year. Things that I would have drank over if I hadn't been sober. I somehow made it through them and never took a drop. This was my "learning to walk" year.
My third year. A year of grace. Grace from God, grace from life, grace from the program. This is the year I learned to breath. I finally put the stick down that I had been carrying for the last two years. I didn't need it anymore. I have learned one of the basic lessons of life: to be kind to myself. I'm good just the way I am. Not that I don't have faults that need work, an ego that needs to be kept in line, and a lot of learning to do. I just no longer feel that I have to micromanage everything. I have over thought, over talked, over analyzed in vain and for what? So now I cut myself some slack. I don't skimp on my program, I enjoy it. This is my "learning to run" year.
So what's next? A high school graduation for our oldest, then off to college three hours away. More time with our youngest as they move through junior high and onto high school. Time to garden, time to write poetry. Time to cook, time to laugh, time to cry, time to live life. A friend recently said, "we are all sick, hurting, and need to be taken care of". I am so happy that I can take care of those around me and myself. So no matter what lies ahead, it will be welcomed. Happy or sad, its my life. One that I never thought would be this good.
I need to give a shout to my sober anniversary sista "Sober Julie" over at Sober Julie Doing Life. She is awesome. It is such an honor to share sober anniversaries. She inspires so many people every day with her story, her joy, her happiness. She inspires me and I am humbled to be her blogger friend.
So now I will leave you with one of my favorite Anne Lamott quotes :"I do not understand the mystery of grace-- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us" and I am so grateful that it found me. Blessings and love to all of you, and now I know there's a chocolate cake somewhere with my name on it......