Wednesday, February 25, 2009
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.