Oh, What a Year
I cannot believe it's been a year! One year ago yesterday, I woke up and knew that I could not continue living like I was. I don't know why June 11, 2o12 was different from any other day. But it was. I woke up and it was like a decision had been made for me while I was asleep. Without even fully waking up, I found myself standing over my parents bed, waking them up to tell them I needed help and I was going to find a treatment center to go to.
And there I went...sitting in the back seat of my parent's Tahoe, waving my white flag out the window all the way to Pilot Mountain. I felt like I was ten again and they were dropping me off at summer camp. Toiletries, check! Stationary and stamps, check! Spending money for the soda machine, check! But I wasn't ten. I was thirty-two. And it wasn't summer camp. It was rehab.
I spent the following 28 days at Hope Valley Treatment Facility in Pilot Mountain and I cannot say enough great things about this place, the program and the staff. Do you have any idea what it's like to disconnect from pretty much everything for 28 days?! It was amazing. No emails, no cell phone, no facebook, no work calendar. Nothing. The only thing I had to worry about was my recovery. So, that's what I did.
Adapting to sober living can be quite the challenge. I spent years putting alcohol before everything. It became the number one thing in my life and a part of everything I did. So, when you remove such a staple for living, there is a fear that you won't be able to do it. Or you won't want to do it.
Well, I am happy to say that living sober will not kill you. It won't. I promise. And if you take care of yourself physically, mentally and spiritually...you will be amazed with how happy and free you can be!
On June 11, 2012, I made a positive choice to accept help and deal with life on life's terms...instead of on my terms. That clearly wasn't working out for me too well. And what I have found is that once you make one positive change...it's so much easier to make other positive changes.
Being sober allows me to wake up without a hangover. Waking up without a hangover allows me to get up early and workout. Working out makes me feel good. Feeling good makes me want to get the most out of life. And well, the possibilities are endless when you love living your life.
I was worried that people wouldn't want to hang out with Sober Allison. I was worried that I wouldn't be fun anymore. Well..........................that was just ridiculous thinking! Sober Allison is sooooooooooooo much better than Drunk Allison! I used to look at people who seemed to enjoy life and want to be that person. And now, I am that person! I get up early and workout. I go to the farmers market. I ride my bike around my neighborhood. I take my dog to the park. I meet friends for lunch. I enjoy coffee in the mornings, instead of just needing it to help with a headache. I am open to new things. I see beauty in people, places and things that I never paid attention to before. I have made new friends who like Sober Allison just great! The people who have entered my life this past year are some of the most inspiring and positive people I have ever met...and they are my friends! And most importantly, I have a relationship with God.
I honestly wake up and look forward to my day. Through God, I have found acceptance in so many things that used to cause so much anger inside of me. Though I may not understand everything that happens, I trust that it is all part of God's plan.
I could live the rest of my life being angry that my brother died at such an early age. I could be mad that I'm an alcoholic and hate life. But, why? I can't change these things. I have absolute no control over them. So, not only do I accept them, I embrace them. I started this blog in hopes of helping others. I can't bring my brother back, but I can honor his memory by helping myself and others. Why hide the fact that I am an alcoholic. I can't change it. It is what it is. So what? I don't have the luxury of enjoying a pina colada or glass of wine like normal people do. Big deal. So, I embrace my alcoholism. I am open about it because I see no reason to be ashamed.
Acceptance is the key to my happiness and I am reminded of this daily through the Serenity Prayer.
While one year marks a huge milestone in my recovery and I am thrilled to celebrate it, I do know that sobriety is not a destination, it's a journey. It's a journey that I am thrilled beyond words to be on. I look forward to my future and all that God has in store for me. I will continue to wake up each day and pray to God to remove any obsession I may have to drink for the day and keep me sober. I will go to bed and thank Him each night.
*The infinity ring was a Christmas present from my brother-n-law who was also one of Will's best friends. It has my sobriety date engraved and the birthstones of mine and Will's...which also happens to be my sobriety birthstone!