I have been avoiding my desk like a root canal.
So here I am again, having emptied the dishwasher, made sure there wasn't any troublesome lint in the dryer, and vacuumed my car; it was when I thought about heading out to pet the cows that I knew I was in a state of total avoidance. Or would that be defiance?
I'm not particularly eager to do things I usually love when I HAVE to, and it becomes a chore, and I'm not too fond of chores. So here I am writing about avoidance instead of the actual topic.
Today is a big day, and I can't let it go by without writing about it, so here we go!
Today I celebrate nine years of sobriety.
I can't even type that without feeling the tears start up. It's emotional for Craig and me, and we always choose to honor this day together because it commemorates the day life started over for us, and we will always be grateful for the second chance at marriage God gave us.
November 6, 2013, was the day I said goodbye forever to alcohol, and I'm sorry, but I cheated here and pulled the excerpt from my book, Sober Cycle to share with you what happened on that day.
That sounds so dramatic, and let's be honest, it wouldn't be me if it weren't.
I remember 100% what that moment felt like, and fear was the biggest thing I felt. How on earth was quitting going to be different this time? I felt deep in my soul that it was, but why? Looking back, I had a lot to learn, and the biggest lesson would be to trust God to lead me through this.
Not a day goes by that I am not reminded that this is who God has called me to be. God's plan is always to move us out of our pain and into the greater purpose he has waiting for us.
Craig and I went out for a celebration dinner last night and reflected on that first sober weekend together nine years ago. I think about those memories and some more that come to mind in the quiet this morning. There is a common thread woven through our story.
God has woven us back together in this thing called recovery, and the thread this time is so much stronger. We were hanging on by a thread before I sobered up; it was like the stuff you get from the hotel freebie sewing kit. Weak! I imagine that cheap thread is now fishing line; we've grown so much together these last nine years! To be clear, life is not perfect-we still have our stuff and always will, but we are better equipped to handle what comes our way.
I groped my way through the dark that first year of sober life, I was figuring it out as I went, so I want to share with you my list of what I found that works. Every single one is important.
Start here-admit you cannot do this alone and do not want to continue. Surrender it to God. If you don't want to do this alone, call someone you trust, and if you trust no one, contact me. I will be there for you.
Get some professional help. Therapy is an essential part of recovery. You have a lot to deal with; you didn't get into this spot because you were so mentally healthy, did you? We all got our stuff. Find a good Christian counselor and figure it out, so you don't end up back where you started again.
Find your people. For me, that is Joyful Surrender. When I think of what these women mean to me, I cannot type without tears. I prayed for them and continue to. We love and support each other through life like I could only have imagined. I asked, and God answered with these beautiful souls. Guess what? There's always room for more. If you are looking for a community of women who drank too much and want to recover with faith as the most powerful tool in the shed, You have found it. Check it out on my website or send me a message.
Do what you love with the time you are discovering you have without drinking. What are your hobbies? Or what were they before addiction stole them from you? Find those things back or learn some new ones. I promise they will bring you joy.
Fill yourself up with every single bit of information you can find. Read or listen to all the books, podcasts, and the most crucial manual provided; the Bible.
Finally, and most importantly. Pray. Then pray some more.
So here I am, still doing most of those things, and I honestly don't know how to do life any differently. I love this life and wouldn't trade it for anything. It's a beautiful way to live.
I'm still climbing the sober mountain, and that's ok.
I've accepted that it will always be an uphill climb,
but sometimes the view is so beautiful
the struggle to get there
seems like a minor inconvenience.
Was it worth it? Yes, every single hour, every single month that has added up to nine years without a drink. All worth it. Nine years of finding joy in life that I would not have dared dream possible.
To God be the Glory, Great things he has done.