What did year two look like for me? I was almost to the two year mark in this picture. "Praying God's power will propel you forward" was the message on these cookies. My good friend Nancy was a part of the SAG Team in 2014 and she had messages for us everywhere. I liked these best when they were attached to cookies lol.
Confession time here. Out of the six Ride4Life's I had done, this was the first one I was on that didn't start with a hangover. You're going to have to buy the book (if I ever get it done) to find out more on that topic.
I chose a picture where my mouth was closed (not because it was full of cookies), but because I had BRACES this year. Figured I was going to be miserable so I might as well get some braces on my teeth too! Also, I see it was a typical bad hair day for me in this shot.
Why am I showing you this? I only have to look through my pictures and I can see and KNOW how happy I am here. I was starting to thrive, not just survive any more. Sobriety was treating me well.
But it was still a my secret. I wasn't very public about the fact that I was screaming for joy inside that I had two freaking years in me without a drink. I can't make you understand how unimaginal that was for me!
To do life without alcohol was only a fantasy. Until I started living it. However, just because I wasn't drinking, was I really living a life of recovery if I kept it a secret?
I had this line running through my head all the time that I had heard in the few AA meetings I had attended:
“No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.” Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 84
Then I had this epiphany:
Sharing Your Story can Change Someone’s Life
Wait what! Mine? No way, I mean absolutely not. I can't help anyone else while I am still struggling myself! Wait, what are you truly struggling with here, the desire to drink? Nooo, that's gone. Well then what? I'm struggling with people finding out. Why I've chosen to retreat somewhat quietly into the background of my former party life. It was just easier, but was I happier?
Admitting to myself that I was not any happier this way was kind of a revelation. It's time to tell your story. I heard this clearly from God while I was thinking this through. But where? How? And then he said just start with me. So I opened the door and for miles on that bike trip I told him my story. I knew when I was ready that my story would not be for his ears only. It was enough for year two. But not enough for year three as I would soon find out.
I'll be sharing year three soon, but I want to point something out by telling you this; I didn't just dive in without direction. I talked to God about it first, and then after that some good friends who I trusted. The process was slow but not painful. If you feel a nudge to reach out and talk, do it. The shame and secrecy of addiction can keep you in a pit for a long time. When you talk about it you release it. So do that. Talk to him about it today. Start a conversation that will propel you forward in your recovery. I get emails everyday from people who are ready to share their story with me, ready to share in a safe place that gives their soul freedom. Feel free to do that if you're comfortable.
We are stronger together, always.
Happy Thanksgiving, I am grateful for all of you and the support you give me.
Keep going-I promise you it's beautiful,