November 6th, 2007 I checked myself into the Pavillon. The next 6 weeks were an emotional roller coaster spent crying, arguing, laughing, bartering, being mad, being in moments of denial and regret, having moments of “Clairey-ty”, and learning about my disease and who I am without drugs in my system.
I was feeling feelings and trying to grasp how to utilize a whole new set of tools while in the safety of the walls of Pavilion. There were days I wanted to leave, throw my hand in the air, and just say, “**** it!” Then there was my last day on campus where I just didn’t want to leave.
We had a plan in place for me to start my new life in the “real world”. I was to attend Pavillon’s IOPT for the following 3 months, go to 12 step meetings daily, keep up on my meds and doctor’s visits for my other diagnosis, get a sponsor, and start working the steps. I had a head full of knowledge, a heart full of hope, and a ginormous tool box. I followed the plan 100% until…. I decided to go visit a boy I’d met at the Pavillon and on my 90th day sober after attending a meeting I relapsed. I went to a meeting the next morning and didn’t tell a soul about my relapse. For a LONG time. “2 sickies don’t make a wellie” had proven true as well as “your secrets keep you sick”.
Continuing my steps I arrived at the 5th step and blatantly lied to my then sponsor about not having any secrets. Later on I falsely claimed my year chip. It was just a couple glasses of wine anyhow. No one knew, but I did and my HP did. After that I moved back west, got a sponsor here, and started another round of steps. My secret was killing me. Arriving at the 5th Step again, I got honest with my sponsor, my now husband, and my close network of new sober friends. My sponsor and I did the math and realized my true 1st year sober date was quickly approaching.
February 4th, 2008 I stood in shame and shared my truth to my home group. I was terrified. Guess what? Yet again I had learned I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t the first to do something like this and most likely not the last. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders and my heart was full again. This February 4th, I celebrated 9 years of continuous sobriety. That’s 3,289 days at a time, as a direct result from my foundation received at Pavillon, the 12 steps, honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, and a very loving and forgiving Higher Power. I spent the day with my family and my son’s godparents, who are also in recovery, snowmobiling in the UNITA Mountains in Wyoming. It was a day to remember. I was full of gratitude and thankful living in the moment with those promises beaming in my heart. One day at a time, and sometimes very slowly, the promises have come true and I am a happy, joyous, free, and grateful recovering alcoholic.