It's a HAPPY First Birthday for It's a Lush Life
I used to wake up every morning hungover and would sit in front of my vanity to get ready for work. For a long time I did not recognize the person looking back at me. Like my disease of alcoholism, my personal hatred for myself was a progressive process. I went from looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I saw to not knowing who I was and eventually hating the person looking back at me.
Somewhere along the way I came across the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 and had written it on a sticky note and stuck it on the bottom left corner of my mirror.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I would read it every morning. For the most part, it was the only connection to God I had during that time. But for whatever reason, I believed it. Or at least I wanted to believe it. Even when I hated Him, it gave me hope for my future.
What I didn't realize is that I was leading a life of self will run riot. I had many failed attempts at changing people, places and things in an effort to make me happy. Problem with that...I was the problem. So, no matter where I moved to, who I was in a relationship with, or what great job I had--nothing made me happy inside. I thought if I moved to San Francisco then life would be better. If I got a certain job then I would be happy. If I dated someone really successful then I'd feel complete. Wrong, wrong and wrong.
Grass was always greener on the other side for me. I was never content with anything I had. I always wanted more. More of anything. More of everything. More alcohol, more guys, more things, more money. It didn't matter--I wanted more of whatever it was.
What I didn't realize at the time was that nothing was going to make me happy until I was happy with myself. Seems pretty obvious, right? Well...not for me. I thought I was happy--I mean, kind of. My life on the outside suggested I was. I am sure most people thought I had it made. But I was miserable because I wasn't being honest with myself.
Today, I can look at my life and realize that a self centered life run on self will is a miserable way to live. Making everything about me is a miserable way to live. Thinking that your self worth lies within material things is a miserable way to live. Placing your happiness in other people is a miserable way to live.
Being sober allows me to be more like the person God intended me to be. Today, I am happy because I am free from the bondage of self. I am happy because I like who I am becoming. I am happy because I practice gratitude. I am happy because I know it's not all about me.
It's a Lush Life's turned one year old on Friday! I posted my first blog post, "Hi, my name is Allison. I'm an Alcoholic," on March 29th 2013. And man...what a year it has been! I started my blog as a living amends to my brother. For a long time, I didn't want the pain to end after losing him because it was the only thing I had left of him. Today, he is a part of everything I do. I am able to honor his memory by being the big sister to others that I wish I could have been to him before he died.
This past year, I have had the privilege to watch several close friends come to terms with their own addictions and choose recovery. My blog is now featured on the Huffington Post...which reaches millions of people daily. I have had the honor of receiving and answering hundreds of emails from people across the world who have reached out about their own struggles with addiction.
This past week I had the honor of being interviewed by our local ABC news station, WSOCTV, and they asked me what my goal for It's a Lush Life was. I was speechless. I didn't have a goal...I mean, not really. I wake up each morning and ask God to let me be of service to those suffering most from the disease of alcoholism/addiction and I never know what they is going to entail.
I'd say my first year blogging has been pretty successful in terms of reaching the masses. And, if I ask myself why...the answer is simple. It's not about me. It's about being of service to others. It's about losing the shame and coming clean with who I am, what I've done and who I have become so people know they aren't alone in their own struggles.
By the grace of God, I am using my pain for a purpose. I have been able to take my mess and make it my message to the world. And this has become my passion--my purpose.
We wake up each morning with the gift of today. So, if I can say that I have made just one person's day better at the end of each day--that's my goal. Being part of a movement to remove the shame and stigma associated with alcoholics and addicts--that's my goal. To share my experience, strength and hope with those still suffering from the disease of alcoholism/addiction--that's my goal.
Thank you to each and every one of you who has followed along with me through this journey. I am so excited to see what will happen in the years to come!
I thank you all from the very bottom of my sober heart!