July 20, 2018

I woke very early this morning and sat on the side of my bed in silence as I had exactly 25 years ago today. 

25 years ago I was sitting on my waterbed (yes, waterbed) wrestling with the toughest decision I have ever had to make. Do I take my life or do I get up, pour every ounce of alcohol I have in the house down the drain and walk one block into my first meeting?

All I had known was alcohol and drugs, how would I live without them? The thought of a life without them sounded like wide awake death yet the fear of not being successful at a suicide attempt sounded like wide awake death too.

I have no idea how long I sat there paralyzed by fear with the weight of my options but I remember feeling really heavy as if my body was filled with sand and sinking deeper and deeper into the waterbed. I had not slept all night and despite drinking all night I was not drunk.  I could hear the tick tock of a nearby clock as I lit another cigarette and watched the smoke leave my body knowing I had to make the decision today. Today was THE day. Whatever I decided on, it had to be done today, I could not live another minute as I had been, it had to stop.

I remember sitting there and asking the universe, God, anyone, anything for help and then I made the deal with myself. I would give sobriety a try and if it sucked as much as I knew it would then I would take my own life and end the torture. 

Done, decision made!

I stood up, took all the alcohol in the house to the sink and cried from the depths of my soul as I poured it down the drain.  With tears streaming down my face I walked one block to my first ever meeting and sat there and cried for the entire hour and not the pretty cry. I cried the ugly, gulping, snot bubbles cry. I did that every day until the tears stopped. It was agony in those early days, the culmination and wreckage of my past flooded my present and I was suddenly faced with very difficult choices I had to make sober, something I had never done before.

Today, 25 years later tears were streaming down my face as I reached the summit of a real life mountain I climbed one step at a time. As I looked over the vista I found myself so full of gratitude. 

I am SO grateful for the life I have.

I am SO grateful for all the pain and all the joy of the last 25 years, there have been devastating lows, exhilarating highs and I did not drink through either.

I am SO grateful to those that stood beside me and even more grateful for those that chose to leave. Those that stayed taught me about unconditional support and courage while those that left taught me that change scares people to their core and that some people aren’t meant to stay and that is ok.

Today, 25 years later my mind and body are stronger than they have ever been and both are looking forward to new adventures and challenges ~ stone cold sober.

If someone would have told me 25 years ago about the life I would have if I stayed sober I would have called them a liar. It has been more than I could have imagined for myself!

If you or anyone you know is caught in the cycle of addiction, I encourage you and them to try sobriety- there is no high like it!