Today’s post is an extra special one for me. On Monday, November 11, 2013 I will be by the Grace of God 14 years clean and sober. That’s 14 wonderful years free of drug and alcohol abuse, free from emotional abuse, free from bondage of self.
Whenever my sober anniversary comes around I always think back at what my life was like before that fateful november day when I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. There was no more relief in the drinking, I couldn’t escape any longer. I had just gotten out of an unhealthy relationship (ok I was thrown out of the relationship) and went on a drinking binge of all binges. I put my safety and life in danger many times during those months and I simply just didn’t want to go on any longer.
I started drinking at a young age, I even remember my first taste, I was 6 it was a beer and I thought it was disgusting. I drank during my teen years like most of my peers, nothing out of the ordinary, though I did drink till I got drunk but I could go without a drink for weeks, months or even years. Once I turned 17 things changed. I fell into drugs and drinking and drinking turned into my first love. I won’t lie, I had some great times for sure especially in the early years and yes there were some ups and downs but I still loved the bottle. Drugs took a back seat, they weren’t my passion, alcohol was. As the years and my drinking progressed, I was getting worse and worse and so was my health. I had esophagus problems, liver problems, living problems. I quit my job to drink full time, work was getting in the way or so I told myself. Meanwhile I was living with someone who drank like I did and we all know how that ended.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Many of you who follow my blog know that I went into treatment for 6 months in an in-house treatment facility. At first I thought I would go for 30 days and get some rest, I had pneumonia, I was exhausted, I was sick and I needed a break… I mostly needed a break from me. I went through a really dark period before going to treatment and maybe one day I’ll be able to share that with you but not today.
I lived in this treatment facility with 9 to 12 women throughout the six months. I was the first graduate, those that came before me had fallen before their treatment was over. There were others who graduated after me but fell. I feel blessed and lucky that I have stayed clean and sober. I had made friends, friends I still have today. It’s funny how I wanted to run from myself, get some rest and try not to drink for awhile. Instead I found myself, got some rest and have remained sober these last 14 years.
Was there temptation along the way? Yes, 2 years into my sobriety I was living with a man who to this day has struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. He was a few weeks sober when we met, though I was told he had long term sobriety. Almost 2 years into our relationship he relapsed hard and I considered for a brief 15 minutes to join him. He was asleep on our couch as his drugs and alcohol laid out on our kitchen table and I thought how easy it would be to join him but I had just celebrated 2 years of sobriety and a little voice inside of me simply did not want to risk that I may not be able to stop again. So I called AA and went to a meeting and stayed sober. What happened to the guy? He’s still out there drinking, drugging and struggling… I say a prayer for him every single night.
There but for the grace of God, go I…
Now is the time to celebrate, I celebrate the fact that I was once broken and today I am whole. I am no longer obsessed with the thought of drinking, I am no longer thirsty, I no longer want to hide from myself and others.
In these last 14 years I’ve had ups and downs but I can handle them and even if something is off or too much, I don’t feel the need to drink. Life today is lots of fun, I feel great about myself and all that I’ve accomplished and I still continue to grow. I am very different from that young woman who I used to be who suffered for years and just wanted to destroy herself. You can’t imagine how much I’ve changed. Those that knew me then would never have bet on Robyn getting sober, much less staying sober. I did have to cut some people out of my life, I did it in order to survive. I chose me.
I choose me every day, I choose to pick my battles, I try to do what’s right, I live an honest life, I rely on a higher power who I call God. I’m quite happy actually and on the days I’m not, I work on it, I use the tools and get right minded.
Thank you for reading this post today, it means a lot to me and if there is something you’d like to share, you can either hit the reply button on the email I sent to you, you can post a comment below or click on the “Let’s talk” Box on the bottom right. I’m pretty much an open book and would love to know if I can be of service to you and remember…
To thine own self be true…
It’s Thanksgiving Day here in Canada today!
I like to pause throughout each day to thank the Universe for special moments that pop up throughout the day, like tears running down my face from hard laughter with my husband, my dog’s wagging tail whenever he see’s me, the sound of my eldest cat’s purring (he purrs so loud), my youngest girl kitty’s need to sleep on my feet at night (it gets cold here in Canada eh), having conversations with Mom about everything and nothing, clients who have let me in their lives as we grow together and the list goes on and on and on…
I clearly enjoy those special moments in my life and I try really hard to show an attitude of gratitude. There are times when I’ll create a list of the things I’m grateful for about myself and what I’ve accomplished; it’s sometimes about physical accomplishments like walking 2 miles to Leslie Sansone’s Walk away the Pounds DVD, or doing perfect form squats or being grateful for my body and it’s ability to perform those physical actions and keeping with the physical theme I will write about my long curly hair or pretty eyes. Sometimes it’s about the emotional accomplishments like being proud of myself for completing a task or appreciating that I do have a determination to succeed. It can sometimes be about being grateful for the roof over my head and that my family can count on me. It has no rhyme or reason, it’s just about self-love and being grateful for me.
I have noticed that once I start I almost cannot stop and it gives me a huge boost of self-esteem and self-love. Now of course this didn’t come overnight, I had to work on it, and that’s where that list came in handy. You see by me concentrating on what I was grateful for in myself it reminded me of all the good things I have accomplished, all the good things that I am and it helped me create more positive feelings towards myself which made me kinder and more loving towards myself as well. This in turn made me a better wife, daughter and friend. It’s a healthy step towards a healthy relationship with yourself.
Have you tried a self-love gratitude list? Just take a piece of paper and a pen and start. Remember there’s no right or wrong, it’s about you and what you love/like about yourself. It can be your hair, your eyes, your smile, your sense of humor, your educated mind, just write what you like/love about you.
Would you mind sharing what you are grateful for about yourself? If you want you can comment below or send me a message!
Have a glorious week, I know I will!
To your health with Love