it was less than a year ago that i revealed a little secret. i thought about it long and hard before i decided to make my anonymous self known. you see, the biggest part of me... who i am, how i relate to the world, and what shapes me (for good or for bad) is this very tiny fact that...i am, an alcoholic.
keeping that part of myself secret was a necessity for a long time. i needed to know a few things before i could let other people in on such a personal part of my life. i needed to know whether i was okay with myself, being an alcoholic. did i accept it? did i honor it? did i find pride, humility, joy in who i was, if who i was included this dark little secret?
because i kept my "festive" drinking to myself (and the very few lucky individuals who had the pleasure of seeing me in action) it was hard to explain who i was as an alcoholic. i was the alcoholic of the worst kind. i endured intense erosion. erosion of the body, erosion of the spirit. the saddest part about drinking, the true plight of the alcoholic is this...the erosion is self induced. i was the only one responsible for it and the only one who could fix it. although, to be clear... God and Grace had a heavy hand in the fixing, but i was responsible for the first step. getting honest.
six years ago today, i woke up in a fog. i was hungover (for the last time). i felt desperate, hopeless, and so incredibly tired. i sought help. i got in with a crowd of people that (if i'm honest) i never wanted to be in with. but with a little help from this special group of men and women (with similar erosion capabilities)... i learned a new (and beautiful) way of life.
i don't need to drink. i don't want to drink. and every once in a while, if the thought, "hey! one little drink might feel nice" does come up- i don't have to listen. i know how to turn that voice off. i didn't know where the off-switch was when i was drinking. the secret, my friends, is this. if i don't start, i don't have to use an off-switch. it's quite simple, but not easy. staying stopped is the hardest job i will ever have in this life of mine. it's my most important work.
what i've learned in my six years of sobriety is this. life sends babies, death, heart troubles, laughter, heartache, love, fear, and everything else (good and bad) in between. none of these, i have control over. i do, however, have control over whether or not i will live in a state of constant erosion. i choose, not to erode but to grow with grace and dignity.
one day at a time. (if you want to read more about my story to recovery- you can find it here)
"You've made this day a special day by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are."- Mr. Rodgers.