On 11 January 2016 I celebrated six years of sobriety! I was showered with well wishes from fellow AA members; a day only they can fully appreciate and understand how special it is for a recovering alcoholic.
It warms my heart to reminisce on my years of recovery. From what began as my greatest fear of admitting I had an alcohol problem, to making that bold move of stepping into an AA meeting, hoping they’d save me, but not knowing whether I was ready to stay sober.
I recall attending those first few meetings with anxiety and dread. I didn’t have an inkling what they were talking about, my mind consumed by the constant craving for alcohol, hoping someone would tap me with a magic wand and proclaim I was cured. I sought a quick fix, needed it badly, patience wasn’t one of my virtues and their chanting of keep coming back to meetings wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the rest of my days.
White knuckling the weekends with the temptation of alcohol all around, I’d return to the meetings twice a week – still sober! Every day that passed without my vice, my thoughts became clearer, my resolve stronger and my confidence slowly peaked. I couldn’t quite explain why I was staying sober, was it the meetings (no, I was still very fearful of them and I refused to speak up in any way), so what exactly changed and got me to commit to hanging around?
Today I know that my Higher Power walked into that meeting with me, clasping my hand, never letting go. He knew how petrified I was, knew the demons I was battling, knew how much I wanted to overcome my addiction, He believed in me when I ceased to believe in myself. I just didn’t realise it back then, now I know differently.
I’d never stuck to anything before in my life, not a diet, an exercise regime or a writing schedule. I failed miserably in my life for I didn’t believe in myself. I had so many hopes and dreams for the future – alcohol robbed me of so many of them, kept me caged in a prison and stole years from me. Sobriety opened the door to the possibilities awaiting, affording me the courage to pursue them, albeit with some trepidation.
I learned to live my life according to the AA motto of “One day at a time”. To stay away from that first drink, to pray to my Higher Power for a daily reprieve, not to dwell in the future nor in the past and to live life on life’s terms. My journey wasn’t filled with rainbows and butterflies – it was fraught with tough decisions to take, learning to love myself (flaws and all), yanking myself up after disappointments and promising to try harder. Through it all I never gave up on myself, treasured the new me and made sobriety my priority. Six months turned into one year and before I knew it I was cruising into six years!
I am incredibly grateful to those who paved the way for me. My Higher Power who came into my life when I needed Him most. He truly is my best friend and not a day goes by that I don’t confide in him, shed some tears or express my thankfulness. By his grace I’ve become a miracle and I’ll always be in awe of Him. My sponsor – for the hours upon hours in which she listened to my doubts and fears, her utter belief in me and the unconditional love and support through the years. Our bond has blossomed into a beautiful friendship overflowing with love and mutual respect. My fellowship friends who’ve become my second family, who worry when I’m not around, not because they think the worse, but because they miss my presence and love me as one of their own. My husband who has stood by my side for two decades of marriage, years of alcoholism and now in sobriety. He’s my rock, sounding board and biggest cheerleader in every way. I know I couldn’t have succeeded without his positivity and never-ending love. My children, who helped me see the light of wanting a better life for them, for a chance to make things right and become the mother they deserved.
I don’t regret walking into AA six years ago and taking the first step towards changing my life. I am forever grateful to be blessed with a second chance to find peace, serenity and joy <3 🙂