March 22, 2014

Spring Time Sober

Spring time... What an amazing time of the year! Watching little flowers spring up from the ground, and the sun finally shining, and the birds happily chirping gives me some kind of a euphoria. Kids are again playing outside and the air is filled with their laughter. There is just something so very amazing about it all. Nature and life seem to have awaken again... and so did my drinking pangs.

I don't know what it really is that makes spring time a drinking trigger for me. It seems like some misdirected energy; while others are cleaning their yards and planting gardens, I feel like drinking... I feel like I should be sitting on my deck and sipping on a lite, refreshing wine and juice cocktail, with a splash of soda and a twist of lime. I used to do that a while back, when I lived in a condo on the third floor. My balcony faced several tall trees and I could not see any other buildings around me. I would listen to the buzzing of the life out there, and it felt peaceful and calming. I spend many days sitting and drinking on that balcony, and it was definitely one of my favorite things to do. Of course this was way before my drinking took off and became crazy and unpredictable.

I also quit drinking during the spring time, which seems a bit like an odd coincidence. But maybe not. I remember it being one of those really beautiful days, without a cloud in the sky. I was happy. No worries. I had that same feeling of wanting to just sit and enjoy the buzzing of the life out there. I was about three months sober but I remember thinking that I definitely could have a drink and be OK; I am not mad, angry or sad. I am happy! There is not reason that I would get plastered, I thought. 

But I did. I totally did. What was supposed to be a drink ended up being several boxes of wine. It was horrible. It was so bad that I was in a blackout the entire weekend and then I woke up early Monday morning, face down on the kitchen floor. That's when I truly realized that I was an alcoholic and that I could not control my drinking at all. It become very clear to me that after many years spent blaming the world for my drinking, I finally understood that it just didn't matter what was going on in my life, good or bad, I drank.

Sometimes, I think that maybe in my retirement years, I will once again be able to enjoy a nice lite cocktail on the deck. But then I remember my last drunk and think that I just might not. The difference between me and the normal drinkers is that there is never a good time for me to have a drink. All times are bad. So I have to be even more diligent this time of the year, and direct my spring time energy towards staying sober. And maybe then clean the yard and plant a garden! 

March 9, 2014

All I Got is Hope

My life has been immersed in recovery for quite some time. I had a long and difficult journey to where I am toady. I am so very grateful for this life and for sobriety. I have been given another chance at life and I am reminded so often that many of us do not get this chance. Many of us do not make it.

I lost another friend to this damn disease few weeks ago and I have again been in a strange place with many feelings of anger, sadness and disbelief. What can I bring out of this that will help others? - I keep thinking. I wish there was an easy answer, I wish there was something I could say that was so profound that you would decide today, right now, not to ever take another drink again! 

But all I got is hope. 

Hope is not merely wishful thinking; it is much more than that. Hope is knowing and strongly believing that though one is in a desperate situation, things will improve. This faith and optimism has helped me gather enough courage to get through it, keep trying, and continue moving forward. Life can be hard. But I also know that it isn't always. There are many things to be grateful for everyday, after all we are still in the midst of life! And life is constantly changing, just like the weather, no two days are alike. But with hope the bad days are better and the great days are the proof that hope works. 

Addiction is so very powerful. It has so many pieces to it. It's not just putting down the drink or drug. It's learning a new way of life. It's learning to take steps towards a better tomorrow. It's growing new relationships and mending the old ones. It's finding courage where there seems to be none. It's facing life on life's terms. It's a journey, one day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time. And then the days start adding up, good things start happening, and our attitudes become more positive. Little by little we grow, and we change, and hope is always there to carry us through it all. 

I have hope that for every one of us that doesn't make it, there are many more that do. I hope that someone reading this today will find the hope and give sobriety a chance!