I don’t even know where to begin with expressing my gratitude for life today. Five years ago on this very day, I walked into Alcoholics Anonymous once again feeling absolutely defeated. The shame and guilt I felt, and the burden I carried from trying to live a double life almost killed me. In fact, many times I wished that it had.
I hurt the ones that I loved the most through my addiction and couldn’t seem to escape that dark place. I re-established many times throughout my journey to recovery and I managed to put together a few days here and there, thirty days, sixty days, ninety… the longest I ever had until now was one year.
I don’t know what changed this last time, but I am grateful it did. I walked back into that room knowing that I had to give it my all. I had to be willing to break down the walls I surrounded myself with, I had to be willing to tell the truth, I had to admit that I had a problem and believe it, I had to be willing to fully work the steps with another human being, I had to be willing to make amends to those I had hurt and I had to be willing to give back.
Each step has been uncomfortable, but so very freeing. All of the “what if’s” have turned into “I can’s”. Shortly after re-establishing I decided to enroll into a few college courses even though I lacked confidence and was terrified, five years later… I am a college graduate. Then… I could barely hold a job and struggled to hold my own financially, five years later… I have a career in the medical field (that I absolutely love) and am pursuing a second degree in psychology.
Then… I hid from creditors and lived in fear of losing what little I had, five years later… I own a home and a dependable vehicle and am able to be financially independent. Then… my greatest accomplishment was being a mother and though I loved him more than anything in this world, he deserved better. Five years later… he is still my greatest achievement and I am able to be available in his life emotionally, physically, etc. I am able to provide him with the safety and security he deserves. He doesn’t remember what I used to be like and God willing he will never know what that mother looks like.
Then… I buried all of the things I didn’t know how to cope with, five years later… I live them out loud and have the privilege of helping others through similar struggles.
I don’t say all of this to make myself look good, I am far from perfect and I am not proud of my mistakes. I say this because I am grateful. I say this because I never dreamed that my life could be so full, and if any of you can relate to any of this, I want you to know that it is possible for you too. One day at a time… you can.
Thank you God, thank you Laura, thank you Chacey, and thank you to everyone (you know who you are) who has encouraged, inspired and supported me along the way. I wouldn’t be here without you.