What is different about this day is I did so with no regrets, unlike my morning 6 years ago.
I had relapsed on my 90th day. That night after a meeting I drank 1 & 1/2 glasses of wine. I didn’t get drunk, but what I did do is something totally stupid.
You see when I checked myself into rehab 90 days prior as a cocaine addict and a self medicated manic-depressive (with more manic tendencies) and ADHD, I didn’t want to stop drinking and smoking pot. I just wanted to not be a slave to cocaine anymore.
I didn’t have a drinking problem.
Hello, I wore a complete hole in my septum from snorting so much cocaine and then started cooking up crack cause my nose hurt too bad..
I’m a coke head not an ALCOHOLIC! Jeez people!
“Well, Clairey”, (they all said) “a drug is a drug is a drug.”
Me: But I haven’t had a DUI, I haven’t lived under a bridge, I have never overdosed or detoxed or been to the hospital because of alcohol!
Them: If you want to be free from cocaine you’re gonna have to stop all mood and mind altering drugs. The things you mentioned are what we call, ‘yets’. You have yet to have them happen.
Me: whatever, ok.
So I did what they said when I got out. I went to meetings everyday, got a sponsor, started working the 12 steps, even praying and meditating. But I couldn’t stop thinking I was different from everyone else. I can drink and not do drugs!
So I drank. AND, I didn’t do drugs! But alas it didn’t matter. I still had regrets the next morning. I went to a meeting and continued my path in recovery and kept my little relapse a secret.
Note to self: YOUR SECRETS KEEP YOU SICK!
I falsely picked up a year chip. Moved back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Got a new sponsor in the fellowship here. Started working steps. My secret, my lie grew bigger. I finally told the truth on my true 1 year sober.
I was terrified on what folks would think but I knew I must be free of this secret. Besides, I knew and my Higher Power knew and now my sponsor. I stood up in fear in front of everyone at the birthday meeting and shared my truth.
To my surprise, no one kicked me out! People thanked me for my honesty and courage, others wrapped their living arms around me and said they had once done the same.
I again was not alone.
I was free!
That was 6 years ago.
Today I know that whether I’m in one fellowship saying I’m an addict or another calling myself an alcoholic, I have a disease.
Plain and simple.
It’s like switching seats on the Titanic…. either way I’m probably going to drown. I know without a doubt that even though I did drink without doing drugs that if I continued to do so I’d eventually end up right where I left off. Alone in my bedroom smoking crack sending out foxhole prayers bartering with God. If you just get me through this God I’ll never use again….
So today, I woke up. I went to bed last night. I slept well. I had no regrets upon awakening. No hangover, no jonesing for more. No wondering where I was or what I had done. I shared on my Facebook page about my 6 year birthday. I got to wake up my almost 2-year-old son, get an “I love you” text from my husband who is out-of-town, make breakfast in my home and drive into town to go to a meeting. The topic was gifts in recovery!
Gifts in recovery I thought, you want me to share about this in 3 minutes? I need at least the whole meeting and realistically a whole day to share the gifts I’ve received as a direct result of continuous recovery!! Dang!
So I did my best. That’s all any of us can really ever do is our best, right?
After getting my chip/token me and a few special ladies I had asked to join me went to lunch. While sitting at that table with those 4 women I silently thought to myself :
Holy shit! I am 6 years old and I’m at lunch with my sponsor and 3 other very important woman in my life. Oh my God! They all have 20 plus years each!
Shortly after that thought, one of the gals mentioned the same thing. So we added up all 5 of our years.
110 years of sobriety at one fucking table! Sorry for the “F” bomb but SERIOUSLY? 110 years with just 5 of us?!
Can you say MIRACLE?! Yeah, that was pretty humbling to say the least!
So here I am, back at home. My son is napping and I’m writing to you all. I had checked my FB and at the time 127 people “liked” my post and 43 people commented on it.
Again, humbled. So many wonderful things folks have written me today. One of my friend’s comments really choked me up. He was around during my bottom, those lasts few months of pure hell. The sentence that got me….
So thankful we didn’t lose you…
This statement had me in tears. It really hit home for me. The severity of my addiction as seen by someone who witnessed it first hand.
You see the longer I’ve been sober the more I tend to forget. Sobriety has become so second nature to me I often don’t think about how bad ‘it’ really was. How very fortunate I am and blessed with Grace. That I am living and breathing and getting this second chance at life.
I don’t know why some of us make it and some of us don’t. All I know is that I need to be reminded often of just how gosh darn fortunate I am.
I have a built-in forgetter. That is why it is so very important for me to stay vigilant in my recovery. To be of service. To go to meetings. To share what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. But for the Grace of God go I!
This year like every year I’ve had many ups and downs. But I keep coming back. I keep not picking up. I share my feelings as I truly believe pain shared is pain lessened. I know from experience that feelings are not facts. Although at times those feeling have me believing I am literally going to die over them.
I know that all things, good, bad, indifferent, WILL PASS!
Today I know that I am a miracle. Any day that an addict, an alcoholic doesn’t pick up IS a miracle.
We suffer from a disease. A disease that wants us dead. Maybe not in the physical aspect but in my opinion a spiritual death is just as bad or worse.
It can however be arrested and recovery is then possible!
What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.
I am eternally grateful for the life I have today! I have a loving husband, a beautiful son who adores me, an awesome sister, kick ass out-laws, a great sponsor, wonderful sponsees, the best friends on the planet, THE MOST AMAZING PARENTS any kid could wish for, two different fellowships of folks just like me, a relationship with a God that I do not understand (and I’m cool with that), I live in the place I’ve always wanted to, I’m learning to love myself, and…
…I am FREE! Free from the grips of addiction.
I am becoming the person the universe intended me to be! I am always growing, changing, and finding more challenges. This IS a journey and not a destination after all!
Some days are still really tough. Life on life’s terms isn’t always easy. Honestly sometimes life REALLY SUCKS! But it sucks better SOBER!
Some days it’s all I can do just to not pick up. Those days are few and far between though the longer I stick around. My ups and downs are more even keeled these days. It has become a practice to seek a solution!
For those of you who are new to this deal or for those of you wondering if you will ever escape the current hell you feel stuck in…
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
We addicts and alcoholics are everywhere. We are black and white, gay and straight, rich and poor, religious and not. We are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, mechanics, ministers, oil field workers, farmers, politicians and more. We have a disease that doesn’t care what letters are behind your name or not. All it cares about is making you miserable!
- But there is a solution!
- There is a way out.
- There is HOPE!
You never have to use again.
Find us. We are here for you no matter where you are in the world.
Ask for help just like we did!!
Help is available to everyone.
- YOU ARE WORTH IT!
- BELIEVE THAT WE BELIEVE!
- I promise you we WILL love you until you can love yourself.
If this addict/alcoholic can do it one day at a time so can you!!
Thank you all so much for being a part of my journey. Present and past.
Today I am grateful for my past. It truly is my greatest asset.
So, today I woke up. Tonight I will go to sleep. God willing, I will wake up again tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a new day. But for right now… all I have is this moment. And… THIS MOMENT IS A MIRACLE!
My love to you all and BIG wonderful Wyoming ((((HUGS))))
From me, an addict named,