Just writing that seems outrageous. 3 years? 3 years since I finally decided enough was enough?
I never expected that on December 1, 2013. I just knew I neede a change and that all my other attempts to fix myself -extreme diets, excessive exercise plans, rules and lists and criticism and repercussions-had stoped working. I was so lost and lonely and sad…and very very scared of myself as my behaviour around alcohol had become sneaky and compulsive.
Deciding to give myself a year of sobriety for my birthday (which is December 8) seemed like a last ditch plan. Could I make a promise to myself and keep it? It seemed unlikely, as I had been lying to myself for a while. And that lying was crushing my soul.
But I did. I heard the inner voice that begged me to take care of myself. And so, unlike all the other times I proclaimed I would cut back and drink less, I asked for help.
I called a therapist. I cleaned out all the booze from the house. I told people, out loud, of my plan for zero drinking for a year. Not andrink here and there. Not drinks on my birthday the next week. Zero. Many laughed. Others thought I was just being extreme. Maybe that helped make it real for me.
I have a journal from that month. I wavered between elation, seeing the freedom of sobriety almost immediately, and hysteria. My anxiety peaked. My depression, that I had never acknowledged, crept in deeeper and deeper.
But the promise to myself became a touch point. I didn’t think I could survive breaking it. And so I did whatever it took.
Yoga saved me. I found a way to make peace with my body and my mind. I began to understand myself more.this is a daily practice for me. A life.
And my family. My awesome husband who also decided to quit drinking. My children who loved me.
The past 3 years have been the best of my life. Not the easiest…there have been deaths and losses and massive evacuations that have shaken me to my roots, but some of the most beautiful. I have found my husband to be my best friend…I never expected that. And I love him more every day. Even better, I like him more every day.
I have found faith and love and trust in myself. I have stillness and peace.
Tommy Rosen has a prayer that ends with thank you for the joys and challenges for my life.
I am truly thankful. For myself, my family, for all of you who walk this path of freedom with me.
Stillness and peace,