Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 years of clean living

hi blogger fans.  first let me say sorry.  sorry i haven't posted in awhile. i think it's because of summer and such.  who knows.  maybe i just didn't have much to say? well i do now.  i want to give thanks.  To the program of Alcoholics Anonymous for 10 years of sobriety.  I know this is a bold statement to make on the Internet, for all to see.  but i am just transparent now, in all aspects of my life, so i don't care who knows it.  i'm not ashamed of it.  quite the opposite.  it is my biggest achievement, along with being a great parent.  why hide that?  so here's my story for those who care to read it...
i started drinking and smoking pot in jr. high, it was offered i wanted to fit in, so i partook.  i liked it.  no biggie. didn't change my life drastically until high school when i really decided to become a dedicated "partier" .  yay.  how ambitious.  it seemed to fit though, i mean i was good at it, and it helped me feel good, plus everyone around me was doing it.  so i graduated (barely) and i tried to figure out what to do with my life, didn't want to go to college, as this was what you're 'supposed' to do...so i moved to the Caribbean, naturally.  i lived there for a couple years in my early 20's partying HARD, and it is totally acceptable there.  encouraged.  i mean there are bars where you can order a to go drink and you can LEGALLY drink and drive with an open container.  still to this day.  perfect paradise for an alcoholic.  i thought i would live there forever.  but fate intervened.  as it turned out i came back to california to visit and saw my husband Ben after many years absence.  we started dating.  then i had to choose..him or the caribbean...well i can't believe i was so wise at 23 years of age but i was and i chose him.  we started a life together.  we got married.  had our son alex, i went to college, all the while i was drinking but it was sort of 'normal' in that nothing bad was happening.  i graduated college.  had a daughter named abby.  was a full time mom.  lived in a darling town called carmel valley.  ben was building his career.  then i got bored.  restless.  and i started drinking more.  and smoking pot again.  before long it was everyday.  i didn't like being sober.  ever.  and yet i pulled it off.  i never got in trouble.  never.  this still baffles me.  so even though i knew i was blowin it i looked around and saw things were fine.  but i was dying inside.  i started to become a prisoner of my own circumstances, always figuring out how i could get loaded without getting too wasted, and still be a good mom, and wife.  i knew i was needing to stop but i couldn't seem to, not for any length of time.  most i ever got was a week.  and that was really tough.  until i got way too drunk one night, and the next day in a bad hangover swore i was going to stop drinking.  and i went to AA.  it was soooo scary.  those people were so serious.  and they expected so much.  you had to get a sponsor.  you had to do steps.  you had to not drink.  you had to believe in a power greater than yourself.  wholy moly.  i wasn't THAT bad..i said.  and i went back to my usual pattern.  i was good for awhile, then it got away from me and i got drunk, felt horrible, swore i could mellow out, and then i got drunk again.  damn.  what could i do?  if only i could limit myself!  but try and try and try some more and the same thing happened.  until the miraculous day when it changed.  it's funny because the last drunk i had was no different than so many before.  i blacked out.  i woke up feeling like shit.  i tried to piece together the night before to no avail.  i swore i would mellow out.  and then i realized FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, THAT IF I DRANK AGAIN THE EXACT SAME THiING WOULD HAPPEN, I WOULD GET DRUNK.  how could i have not seen that before?  that this pattern was so obvious anyone could see, and i couldn't.  i couldn't connect the dots until that day.  and i knew then in that instant my life was changed.  i knew this time i was going to quit.  and mean it.  and do what i needed to WHATEVER i needed to, to live differently.
humbly i went back to AA.  i listened.  i did exactly what they said to do.  it was hard.  hardest thing i ever did.  i wanted to drink so bad all day everyday.  but i didn't.  i wanted relief from the raw nerve that was exposed and aching.  there was no relief other than time.  and one day at a time i began to feel better.  i thought there would never be a day i didn't obsess about drinking.  and then magically one day it happened.  it took quite awhile but it came.  and it was worth it.  i had struggles with my marriage over how much time i was spending with AA, but i stayed focused.  i knew i had to commit 100% or i would go right back to what i was doing before.  so i stayed the course.  and time marched on.  as it does for us all.  pretty soon i had a year of sobriety.  what a miracle.
then 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 years.  many things happened, all good.  never did i think my life would be better if i could drink.  and now i come to my 10th year birthday tomorrow.  I am having a party and all the people who have shared my journey are coming.  i celebrate with them as it is a WE program.  i didn't do this by myself.
i'm excited.  for those of you who can't come i celebrate with you via the Internet.  for those of you who are reading this and can't relate i appreciate your support.  i share this story because i share myself in my blog.  not just the packaged version of what sounds good, what i 'should' write about.  i share what's true.  what's real.  it's all i know how to be now.  take it or leave it, this is me.  i am a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous and i thank them for saving my soul.
nowadays recovery isn't so taboo.  seems like everyone is in recovery or if you aren't you know someone who is.  it's acceptable to talk about.  i hope i have helped someone with my story and if i have then i am grateful.  i share this milestone with you my friends, known or unknown.  it is my biggest achievement.
thank you as always for your support,