My sobriety date is 24.01.14.
I was in the last week of my 27th year when I finally reached the necessary rock bottom and subsequent surrender to the fact that I was an alcoholic and more importantly, that I can’t drink ever again.
I know now that I have been an alcoholic my whole life and suffered with this illness long before I picked up a drink. Then came the many years of abnormal drinking, despite being an outwardly normal person, and finally the latter stages of my illness, which were long, drawn out and painful; ravaged everything in my life without mercy and left me totally and utterly powerless to the disease of chronic alcoholism. At this point I really believed that things were pretty terminal for me.
That was then. Today, everything has changed for me. Not life. Life is still life on life’s terms and therefore many things on the outside remain exactly the same as they always have been. I have the same domestic situation, with the same associated ups and downs; a similarly demanding job; the same financial worries and the same unexpected curve balls that we are all thrown from time to time. Miraculously, it is within me that things have changed. My perspective has changed enough for me to feel OK in the life I have been given, to grow towards being content in my own skin, to not feel alone and to not feel powerless. Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12 step programme has given me all of this and more. As a result, I can honestly say that today the desire to drink has left me.
This blog is in part a way for me to get things out of my alcoholic (and therefore often unmanageable) head and into a medium that is clearer and also something I hope will simply be a cathartic outlet when I need it. If it helps with my sometimes too laissez-faire approach to step 10 work then that will help me continue to grow as I know I need to and if it can pass on any part of the amazing message and gift of recovery that others helped give to me, then that would be as brilliant as me getting sober in the first place.
I’m not just an alcoholic though. You could argue it has to have the first word on what defines me now; but it’s certainly not the last, or all of them in between. In truth, I’m still going through a re-acquaintance process with myself in early recovery and learning what makes me, me. In the meantime though, I can say with conviction that I love my animals (all five of them), I love food (eating it, cooking it, buying it), I love that I’ve got into yoga recently, I love my small but amazing nucleus of friends and despite how much I might bemoan the fact a lottery win hasn’t enabled me to be a lady of leisure yet, I do really love my job (especially now I’m physically and mentally capable of actually doing it properly).
Life is amazing today…but as with everything, that is just for today. That suits me just fine though, as the fact that tomorrow now has hope, that is one of the great gifts I’ve been given.