On July 11, 2013 I turned 2 years old, in sober years. That is 730 consistent days of drug free blood running through my veins. Wow. Let me say that again….WOW! For this alcoholic, that is nothing short of a miracle. On the day of, I failed to recognize my real gratitude for this miracle, and my life.
I was not in the best of moods on the 11th of July, just 7 short days ago. Although I should have been glowing with gratitude, I was instead sitting in self pity, resentment, and irritability. My surroundings were awkward and unfamiliar, as I was out of town for uncontrollable reasons, away from the two places I call home…New York & Los Angeles. However, life was good, and I couldn’t see that at the time. Why? Because I was wallowing in self-indulgent sorrow. Which then led to sparks of fiery resentments to surface. Then that moment came, where suddenly life felt unmanageable, too difficult, boring, and unworthy of my efforts to express love, compassion, and service towards others. My emotional sobriety quickly went dark.
That is what the spinning wheel of this alcoholics mind looks like when it latches onto that familiar feeling of “poor me.” Normally, at this stage of my sobriety, I can recognize these negative feelings and terrorizing thoughts creeping in, and am able to poison them quickly with my AA tools for survival. Remembering that most, if not all, of what I am thinking and feeling is not real, and quickly asking for guidance from my higher power, and the willingness to shift my perception of the life and/or circumstances in front of me. But on this particular day, I chose to ignore those useful tools that keep me sane. And so I spun. and I continued to spin, for the next 6 days. I created laundry lists of why the life I am currently living is not right. I developed resentments against those closest to me. I beat myself to a pulp, telling myself that my life is about to fail, and the decisions I have made in the past two years have been way off the rail. My rather pleasant immediate world shifted to misery and it became hard for me to crack a smile. So I simply didn’t try, because if I was feeling miserable, you were going to know it by my simple passive aggressive silence.
By the evening of day 6, I had ranted to a couple of friends about the circumstances of my “so-called” life. I spewed about my unhappiness and circumstantial qualms. I was also called out on my passive aggressive behavior. Ouch. By the end of it all, I felt better in some ways, because the thoughts were no longer festering in my head, solo. They had been let loose. That does bring relief to some degree. However, I didn’t feel great about myself. I felt emotionally hung over. I started to see my recent behavior for what it really was. Certainly not the attitude and actions of a well-balanced sober woman. Some-what immature behavior. And very unsatisfying.
Cut to today. 7 days after my 2 year sobriety birthday. 7 days from the start of my dark spin-out. I woke up this morning and felt much like a different person. My perception had shifted. Although I still may have the same concerns I was so deeply obsessing over for the past 6 days, they somehow look different today. More like, just part of my life’s path & adventure. My concerns are my journey and experiences. This morning my faith had returned, somehow. It must have followed suit with my perception. My “so-called life” is not exactly as I may have mapped out in my mind, but it is my life and it is my choice to view it for what it is. It is beautiful. It is a gift. It is filled with gratitude and grace when my head doesn’t get in the way.
Now that I’ve escaped the grips of my alcoholic mind, I will be celebrating my 2 years of sobriety this weekend.
Hello, my name is Donna and I am an alcoholic.
Now for some random entertainment…
Pink’s song “sober” seems to be interpreted differently by many. Is the song about addiction? You tell me your thoughts…click on the link below