13 years ago I definitely hit my bottom. I became too weary of putting things back together that a new direction was the only option. It has certainly been a journey. I have had so much help along the way. Never could I have done this alone. Sober date 9/28/2004. Some of the chapters of my recovery story include….
I have studied Alcoholics Anonymous and experienced a spiritual experience, attended my sponsor’s memorial service, been the subject of a Westword cover story about recovery in 2006, studied A Course in Miracles, Buddha, Pema Chodron, William White, Marianne Williams, Louise Hay, Duane Dyer, become an addictions counselor, a recovery coach, a peer mentor, a recovery coach trainer, developed several programs. I have left wreckage in my sobriety and discovered a better way to manage my trauma.
I bought a house, 2 cars, leased another, had 3 full time jobs with a part time job going the whole 13 years. I remember losing a job while trying to live through PTSD for the first time sober. I gave up friendships and support along that road. I couldn’t trust anyone to ask for help because I had never trusted anyone. I’ve learned a little more about this since then.
The cost of sanity is definitely balanced out by the gifts of recovery. Learning to cope has been challenging, but coping without doping is its own reward. I love my life today. I am happy joyous and free. I am not a body. I am still as God created me. Here’s a little Pema for the road. oh yeah, I’m still working on eating only 1 piece of cake.
“nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know …nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.” ― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times