Well, today is 603 to be exact. I don’t count days anymore like I used to, but consecutive sober time definitely matters.
Living life alcohol-free has allowed me to heal from some pretty ugly stuff. It’s taken some time for sure. And I had to be away from the sauce long enough to even be present enough in my own life to even know what the hell it is I need to heal from. And then I had to heal enough from the alcohol abuse so that I could grow strong enough and become grounded enough to begin the journey of really repairing the damaged areas of my life.
I’m not the same person anymore. That’s both exhilarating and scary. Damn, it’s hard to give up parts of yourself even when they’re toxic…but it’s so damn worth it!….
I just started an MBA program and it feels good to be back in school. I’m prepared for my classes and on time…and I am happy to be in a place of learning. (Compare with last three years of drinking where I attempted the same thing but didn’t show up so had to drop the first class, TWICE).
As of this very month, September 2016, all of my bills are current and paid on time! No…I haven’t paid off my debt…that will take about 5 years. Right now I work at a job that pays less than what I “could” get…but I am 3 miles from home, 3 miles from my daughter’s school, and I make the schedule which allows me to balance motherhood, work and my school. I have also started back my business…very part time..just taking on 1-2 students at a time (about 2 hours a week). I am not wealthy but I have enough right now. Enough to sustain us, enough to fuel my and my kids ambitions, make some home improvements and travel to see family for our Thanksgiving holiday.
Things are taken care of. I go to the doctor, the dentist, take the dog to the vet, mow the lawn before it’s 6″ high (most of the time LOL)…do my laundry, budget my money…get things repaired and maintained, etc…All this sounds so damn mundane but a couple of years ago my life was a shitstorm of chasing my tail and reacting to one “crisis” after another.
I am making peace with food and my body. This is no small feat…and it’s not separate from my drinking…it’s completely entangled with everything…right now I don’t eat anything processed or with chemicals at all, or wheat, dairy or sugar. It was a hard transition at first (and not something to enter into lightly, or in early sobriety)…after only a month of 100% giving those things up I feel very calm and balanced. I stopped weighing myself (although I was overweight, my scale obsession really got unhealthy). I’ve lost 2 clothes sizes, a couple inches each from my waist and hips each…my joints don’t ache, I can think clearly…and the most amazing thing is that I have no cravings for food…I’ve spent most of my life pretty obsessed with my food choices so the mental break of not obsessing is very, very freeing. I have no idea in time if I’ll have the occasional sugar treat or not (for treats, I have limited myself to naturally occurring sugar like bananas and mangoes). I’m not limiting the amount I eat…I now eat when I’m hungry…my appetite seems to have regulated itself which is a minor miracle…I’ve seriously spent most of my life either feeling hungry or overeating…I’m going to continue on like this (strictly) for a while to give my body the opportunity to continue to heal. Like I said this was hard at first…but now I’m discovering new food dishes, and new ways to cook (think more herbs and healthy fats…no cheese and sugar or creamy,sugary sauces etc.).
I still have times where I feel low. Occasionally very low. And I still get scared, overwhelmed, sad at the quick passage of time, impatient for what I want, etc. BUT, I seem to be able to handle these things with a growing sense of balance and grace that I didn’t have a couple of years ago. I’ve actually stopped expecting life to be exactly as I want it to be (and then throwing a two-year-old tantrum and saying, “if life is going to be shitty, then I will (fill in blank with self-destructive thing like drink, smoke, overeat, date a jerk, spend stupid money, pick fight with someone I love, etc.)”.
I feel stronger and healthier than I have in years. I love getting a good night’s sleep. I love that I can drive anywhere I want and never worry about getting pulled over or killing someone. I love remembering everything. I love that I am a good, present mom and leader of my family. And I really love respecting and having faith in myself.