90

25 Jun

I am 90 days sober today, and have never felt better!! It has been the most beautiful day, surrounded by sober support and so much love. I am feeling so blessed🙂

Still being new in recovery, I find that I learn MANY valuable lessons each day … here are just a few things to encourage others that are new to this, too:

– God is so much bigger than our problems … we could never do this on our own

– You may be changing, but life still goes on … just because you are different doesn’t mean anyone else is going to be. Our methods of coping are different now … we have to learn how to DEAL with people and problems instead of using alcohol as our way out

– You will be completely amazed with yourself every day that you go without a drink … regardless of what kind of day you’ve had, the fact that you don’t have to pick up a drink over it is so empowering

– Boundaries are crucial to your success at staying sober … avoiding situations where you are not safe is SO important. If you have to question whether or not you should do something, it’s probably NOT a good idea. Don’t be afraid to say no – you need to take care of yourself first, or you won’t be any good to anyone else. If you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything at all…

– Days seem SO MUCH LONGER without drinking!!! Make those un-wasted (no pun intended) hours useful … start doing things that you enjoy and learn how to fill that time with something HEALTHY for you, both physically and emotionally

– Each day is a gift, that’s why they call it the “present” … don’t take anything for granted. Every day you are sober, you have endless opportunities to change your life and the lives of others. Stay in the present, and enjoy BEING present – it is such a gift

– Never be afraid to ask for help

– Remind yourself every day of the things you have to be grateful for … it can turn a terrible day into a wonderful one if you keep an attitude of gratitude

– Do not have any expectations … you will be amazed by the gifts you receive. Already in 90 days, I have been blessed beyond anything I ever could have imagined!!

– Early sobriety is such an emotional roller coaster – I’ve laughed and cried more than ever before. Don’t be afraid to FEEL – it is a beautiful thing. Even when the going gets tough, dealing with life on life’s terms is always a better alternative to drowning your sorrows with alcohol. Regardless of how drunk you get, your problems will still be there tomorrow. In learning how to work through our issues without drinking, we can live in the solution instead

– Be proud!! This is not EASY. Many people never make it this far … don’t be too hard on yourself!!!

– Keep things simple … one day at a time. It is too difficult and daunting to look far ahead and think about the rest of your life without a drink. If you don’t pick up a drink, one day at a time, you never have to worry about tomorrow!

I am so grateful for everyone that has loved and supported me so far on this chapter of my life. Things have not been easy, but drinking would not make them any easier!! I treasure my sobriety … it is such a gift. I am finally LIVING! It is my hope and prayer that everyone who suffers as I did can know the peace and serenity I have today🙂

One day at a time…

2 Jun

I’ve had the idea to start this recovery blog for a while now, but wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go, or how to get things started. Every time I’ve sat down to write, I haven’t had the words. As I’ve learned in my recovery, all good things come with prayer, meditation, and God’s time.

I’ve had the privilege to spend the last few days on a small island in the Bahamas where I was able to shut off my phone and my mind and be at one with myself and God. I’ve never seen (well … noticed) so much beauty. This was my first trip since I’ve been sober, and I must say, it was so strange not drinking on vacation. I am so grateful for my sobriety today, because this is the first trip I can remember in full, and the first time in a LONG time that I was really able to appreciate the beauty of where I was. Had I been drinking, I would not have seen the amazing double rainbow outside the house I stayed in, never would have noticed that I could see every single star in the sky, could not have appreciated the clarity of the water or the incredible powdery texture of the sand between my toes. God is SO good!

I woke up every morning to an incredible view, blessed with an amazing oceanfront patio where I did my daily meditation, prayer, and journaling. It seems so easy to be at one with God when surrounded by the beauty of nature and the sound of the waves crashing. My sponsor told me from the beginning to journal every night, and to always finish my writing with a gratitude list – 3 things I’m grateful for each day. On most days, I can find 3 things … some days, when I am being tested, it seems impossible to think of just one. On this trip, my gratitude lists were endless.

I think for most of us, drinking quieted that committee in our heads – allowed us to escape from being alone with ourselves. It is remarkable what you find out about YOU when you spend some time alone with yourself. While I realized the importance of learning to be in isolation in a positive way, I also recognized the significance of sober support and fellowship. I am so blessed to have a network of amazing sober women back home that I am so thankful for. We are not in this alone – there are countless others that are plagued with the same illness. Hearing the experience, strength, and hope of others gives me faith that I can survive this journey called life without picking up another drink.

When I made the decision to change my life on March 28, 2012; I didn’t know what I was looking for – I just knew things had to change. At 24 years old, my life was crumbling in front of me. I was throwing everything away as a result of my drinking. I thought everyone and everything else was the problem, and neglected to take a look at myself and my (major) role in all of the chaos. On that Wednesday morning, I opened my eyes and said to myself, “I never want to wake up like this again.” It didn’t take some huge catastrophic event, just the realization that THIS was not the way life was intended to be … I wasn’t living anymore. I was a shell of a person, going through the motions, taking everything and everyone in my path of destruction for granted.

I thought maybe I would just stop for a little bit, or learn how to exercise self-control and cut back a little. I don’t think my initial intentions were to get sober and stay sober, and they were certainly not to revamp my life outside of drinking. I thought I was this wonderful person who just drank a little too much sometimes. When the alcohol was removed, and my brain was no longer in a fog, I acknowledged that I had a lot of work to do. Drinking is but a symptom of our much greater issues. Removing the alcohol is a start, but we have all done an overwhelming amount of damage to the people we love, jeopardized the well-being of those closest to us, compromised our morals, broken trust … the list is endless. My drinking was like a hurricane – once I stopped drinking, the storm was over, but there was a HUGE mess to clean up, and a lot of repairs that I was ill-equipped to handle.

This is why I mentioned my amazing sober support at home … left to my own devices, chaos and disaster is sure to follow. But with the help of others who have been down this road and found a way out, I know I can do it too. My relationship with a loving God was nonexistent while I was drinking – I always had faith and believed, but it is hard to be close to anyone or anything when alcohol permeates every ounce of your being. Today, I know that my God is bigger than any problem I face. I know that each day is a gift from God, and I am only able to stay sober one day at a time with God’s help. I could never have come this far on my own. I find God in each and every person I have met during my recovery. They are like guardian angels – living proof that God will do for me what I cannot do for myself.

If you are reading this today, thank you … If you are struggling today, I hope that you have found some faith and encouragement here … If you are on this journey with me, thank you for being an example and showing me that this way of life is so much more amazing  … If you aren’t there yet, but your life is unbearable, know that there is HOPE; even if you feel like you have nothing left – that is the best place to start … what else do you have to lose at this point? Throw up the white flag and surrender so you can experience the peace and serenity that makes life so beautiful each day. It is the greatest gift I have ever received, and it can be yours, too.