Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hitting Bottom...Sober

Some people say that an addict hits bottom before he pulls himself up and begins the arduous and thrilling road of recovery. To some extent, I believe this to be true. Moments before I decided to become sober, I had essential hit what I knew to be my bottom. I lost a husband, friends, and most of my personal dignity. I was forlorn and lost, love was absent and all respect for myself had washed down the drain faster than I had would have ever imagined.

Hence, the road to my own recovery began and seven years later I've blogged and given speeches and taken pictures showing the world what sobriety can do for someone. I've had the pink cloud of euphoria following me and dissipate as quickly over the years, knowing the personal work I was responsible for creating thunderstorms while figuring out how truly life changing being sober was.

I've been walking, running and stumbling through my sobriety over the years, never questioning my choice not to drink but certainly questioning the the choices that I make in my everyday and emotional life.

So, here I have been: Sober and relatively happy but not altogether satisfied with where I am. Moving forward at a slower pace than the first two years. Not completely comfortable being me sober and definitely not comfortable being me in my former skin. And months ago, I realized that I am starting to slide towards the bottom again. I'm not talking about picking up a bottle, that would be entirely too easy. It's so much more subtle than that: I have been living in fear. Fear of love. Fear of life. Fear of taking all the tools I've learned in my sobriety and applying them to my life. It was like living in limbo for the last few years, not making wrong decisions but staying very clear of the right ones.

And yesterday, I truly truly hit my sober bottom. It was unexpected in a sense. I was having a bad day, playing emotional tug of war with my past, realizing my present wasn't what I wanted it to be and just suddenly realizing that I have been hiding in the shadows of my own recovery. Outwardly, I have been rock solid. Inwardly, I have been so scared that allowing myself to love again, to live again would cause the same pain I've felt so many times in my life. And I'd grown accustom to just hiding from the life I could very well be living.

I cried yesterday for almost six hours straight. I cried so hard I just didn't know how to stop. I started thinking about my marriage, my old relationships, old life, loves, fears, etc. And then I stopped crying. I stopped and thought about where I was. It was my bottom.....sober.

So, today, after sinking to my emotional low, I feel as if a new chapter begins. Doesn't it always? That I deserve love and life just as much as anyone, regardless of my past and those events that have put me where I am today. My voice, continues. My life, moves forward. My love, renewed.

And, today, I think that hitting bottom happens at many points and in many variations. It's a chance to pick-up and move on. A chance to find out what needs to happen to attain the life we are so entitled to and deserve.

So, bottom's up, I say....today is a good day.

10 comments:

Lisa C. said...

Today is a good day... to live.

shinyruby2 said...

so it all begins today. what a wonderful day. x

namaste said...

i know what you mean about the different ways one can hit rock bottom. i've hit rock bottom sooo many different times in my life. but did not stop drinking. then one morning i looked at my puffy-face reflection and decided, no more, not one more drop.

i am so glad to have found your blog. and i'm glad to read that today is a good day for you.

~ maria

jerry said...

Yes, sobriety asks of us courage to face the faulty and specious premises on which we previously based our lives and personal identities. This "dark night of the soul" you're experiencing is necessary for you and everyone who seeks to live by truth and accept life as it is. Your sober path has been leading to this and it's a spectacular blessing that will give you many gifts. Persevere sister. Jerry J.

Anonymous said...

Sobriety it's the way of life. Yes I understand about the bouts. I have been sober for 1 yr 3 months and two years off of drugs. WHEW!! I just shared with my mom I'd rather be in these shoes any ol' day rather then looking at cement. Its been a struggle. I cry a great deal but the lord is my father and I try and give it to him. I started school again and I'm fianlly finishing my A.A in a 8 weeks. I constantly read the Bible but find it difficult to quote verses. All in time I suppose. Tke care of yourself and Godbless you
Josephine

Muldoon Studios said...

I was just having a debate with a good friend of mine who recently jumped back in this wagon. I was telling her that I really didn't believe in the whole "rock bottom" theory because I have tried to get sober more times than I can remember. I have hit so many bottoms, each time a new low is established. A trap door is waiting at the bottom, for me at least. BUT, after further investigation I realized that recognizing your "bottoms" is very important because it reminds you where you were and that you have suffered enough. I have suffered enough.

Barbara said...

Emotional bottoms are the most difficult, at least for me. Sometimes it's so easy to forget the tools. I've been sober now for three-plus years, fired from my job in May (I'm actually grateful, as I'm going back to school to become a teacher) by my boss, who was/is in the program. I moved to a small town in Sullivan County, NY after NYC became too much. Now I'm surrounded by what seems like happy families and gay German men. I wish I could go to a bar--any bar--and pick someone up. But I know where that leads. So, I'm doubling up on my meetings, spending more time on my studies, trying to find--and keep--acceptance of this situation just as it is. Good luck to you and thank you for your wonderful blog!

Jason said...

Yes, the bottom is a lonely frightening place. I have been there several times in the past 10 years. Sometimes I wonder to myself when the quagmire of self pity gets overwhelming whether I really get a misshapen pleasure out of the bottom; if I am so used to being in this place that I can't or won't look anywhere else for answers.

A quick call to the sponsor reveals a bit of truth to my musings and I am once again into the prayer work of steps 6 and 7.

This cycle though tedious at times is beginning to show itself to be a spiral. Not downward but upward (if you must assign a spatial delimitation to it). This spiral is the shape of my growth as a man, as a human and as a spiritual being.

Thank you for posting your thoughts I needed them right now. Have a wonderful day!

~j

blu said...

i have definitely bottomed out on sobriety. more than once. needed to read this today. thank you.

alidee said...

I have never met you in person; however, through my reading of your blog entries I feel I have come to love you. Take care & thank you for your healing words. X