things i’ve learned so far

soon… september 29 i will have 5 years sober.  that almost seems impossible.  except that those minutes and hours and days were all accumulated by me.  therefore, i have proof those 5 years are in fact possible.  of course it goes without saying, that but for my higher power these past years wouldn’t be possible at all.  My HP: the great benevolent force flowing throughout our universe that most of us stay ignorant to until we need to call on its power– usually due to pain and suffering.   ah yes.  the pain, the suffering, the excruciating self-destruction we’ve brought upon ourselves through our drinking and drugging.   why do we need to hit rock bottom  before we realize there is another way to live?   life on life’s terms isn’t easy though yall.  oh my god.  it’s been a beautiful but brutal almost 5 years.   i’ve been the guinea pig in my own experiments in humility.   what happens in sobriety, for me, is the slow waking-up to living honestly without taking any of the edge off the truth.

the truth for me and my own life began on september 29, 2012 when i’d had enough of my being drunk for the remainder of my life.   i wanted to spend the rest of my days free of its shackles, hangovers and regrets.   i made the first step, admitted i was powerless, walked into my 2nd or third meeting, and that was it.  but not really it.  i’m still a baby.  well, an almost kindergartner.  and it’s true i guess:  “all you ever need to know you learn in kindergarten”  cheers to 5 years!    here’s what i’ve gathered so far:

at not quite five years i can admit  when i’m wrong, when i’ve hurt someone, when it’s me not you.   i am fast to say sorry.   i try my best to let God take the reigns.  i have to do better with surrender, because most days i still believe i can control my circumstances.   i pray daily.  i remind myself to be grateful when upset or drowning in self-pity.  surest way to get out of my head is to be of service…to anyone or anything (this includes folding laundry, making dinner, giving the dog a bath).  helping someone with their problem takes away my self-obsession.  i am lost without others.  i need my friends and family and meetings to take away this unrelenting reliance on self.

i also take medication for  mood disorder.  i’ve been a patient for almost 20 years.  the big book says we can employ doctors and psychiatrists …god gave us these practitioners to aid us.  i still get caught up in the “but it’s a pill, it alters the mind”   my brain isn’t wired to give me a quality of life i can rely on without medication.   i don’t know if diabetics loathe their insulin but that’s the tricky part of mental illness in our country.   exercise and good diets help, but i’ve not found as good a quality of life without the meds.  after years of going back and forth with them, i am currently on the best for me and it’s cleared the fog and weight of depression.

yet my greatest lesson so far is this one:   one day at a time.  such a cliche.  however it works.  if i truly only focus on this day…i can get through it.  i can manage one day.  i can accept one day.   and some days are amazing.   some days are shit.  but it’s just one day.  i will leave the months and years and ultimately, my life, to the creator to unfold.

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