Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Journey

Another article that I have pulled out of the vault. I find it hard to believe that this was over three years ago when I wrote this. And how much the journey remains in tact.

Over two and a half years ago, I started my journey into a new life.The beginning was the easiest leg of my journey. Results were tangible. Everyday I didn't drink, I was one step ahead of my life for the previous fifteen years. I went through physical changes; losing weight, my body detoxing, and patterns in my sleep changed significantly. The first few months I was able to see that my choice was a good one. Not drinking was the ONLY road I traveled on at that point.

After a few months, drinking was no longer the focus of my journey. The reality of my journey began to set in. I started walking through the weeds and bumbles of my life. I felt uprooted. Pieces of my past sprouted up along the way. I had to hack at them with all my strength to continue walking down the path I wanted to create. I was learning how to be sober.Being sober entails a bit more than not drinking. It means changing all things that are comfortable. It means leaving people who are harmful. Leaving old behaviours for new ones. Being sober means that you have left one life and began a new one. And at times, this decision that I had made weighed heavily on my heart.

Did I really want this life? Did I really want the stigma I thought was attached to being sober? I wrestled with my decisions every day of my life. Every step I made in one direction meant I was leaving a familiar place.

And the grieving began. I mourned the loss of my old life. I was waving goodbye to all those esoteric things that I had known for so long. Visions of my life before flooded my dreams. I was anxious. Guilty. Angry. But I muddled through this tumultuous part of the journey. I missed my old self. Missed the drama and dysfunction that I had deeply rooted myself in. But, somehow, I just kept moving forward until my pathway was free of past weeds. Suddenly, after a long period of mourning, I was walking with a lighter step.

After my first year, I started the next leg of my journey. Sobriety was easier. Not drinking was no longer an issue. Finding out who I was became the task. In doing this, I have walked down several paths. I have tested some directions that were unsuccessful. I used my art to help my find out what needed working on. I wrote and wrote until I was blue in the face. I read every book I could get my hands on. I diligently went to therapy. I asked questions. I was introspective. I looked for my spirituality. I posted. I chatted. All these things to find out who that person I had hidden away really was.

And for some reason, I hit a major roadblock. No longer was sobriety the focus on my life. I was just Kim. And that scared me so much, I almost faltered. I thought about sabotaging the work that I had done so I wouldn't find out who I was. I was petrified to peel the layers of my life. I had dreams that I was drinking again. I had thoughts of drinking all day and night. Anything, ANYTHING to keep myself from really knowing who I was. I did not believe I deserved the life I was living. It was a very painful leg of my journey. But, in the end, some strength inside of me took over. I never stepped off the path. I kept going in spite of the immense fear I felt.

And that brings me to now. Today, it's a slightly different story. I am on the journey to discover myself in the most pure and real form. I look forward to who I am and where I am meant to be. I live life with so much passion, I am exhausted at the end of the day. I kiss my nieces and nephews. I smile at the Gas Station guy. I no longer feel the need to escape myself and the choices I have made. Every choice I make is grounded in my new life. Believe me, I struggle still. But, it's such a real struggle that it feels so good when it's resolved with a clear mind and spirit. I am on the path to reformulating those things that are most important to me. I am walking towards the life I want. And my sneakers bear the brand of sobriety.

So, my journey may or may not be like yours. You maybe on Day one or Day one thousand. Everyday, it's a new path. New steps. And it's amazing to be able to say that we are able to see the changes and growth. We are fully aware, at every stage of this journey.


ann without wine said...

This is very inspiring. Thank you.

Ingenue, Interrupted said...

This was wonderful for me to read today. I'm still counting days but as I come closer and closer to my 90 day qualification, it's amazing to me to think how different things are even from the first 30. I've been journaling obsessively in a few different formats to have something to look back too.

Thank you so much for that!
xoxo Ingenue