6 years ago this week I walked into a noon Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza, burst into tears and said, “I think I am an alcoholic.” Immediately, that community supported me and over the next 12 months I began to understand that “there is another way to live.”
As anyone who has struggled with alcohol addiction will tell you, the worst part is the period of time leading up to admitting you are powerless over alcohol. In the 2 years leading up to that day in 2015 when I finally walked into an AA meeting, I spent more and more time bargaining with this insatiable beast that was taking my life and everything I cared about from me. In the search for temporary relief from anxiety, insecurity, worry and fear, what I found was just an enormous emptiness. I was ashamed of my inability to simply stop hurting myself and others. Alcohol was on a mission to destroy my life yet I continued to open that bottle of vino fino tinto every afternoon at 5 o’ clock, the witching hour.
Living a sober life has given me many tools for navigating the scary world of FEELINGS. I used to hide from my feelings behind a big glass of red wine, but now I address my problems, if not with confidence, at least with purpose – to find a reasonable solution that does not compromise my values or boundaries.
To celebrate my 6th Sober Birthday, I want to share 6 “I Can” statements I work on constantly:
- Create a life I love built on new beliefs about the person I am and who I choose to be going forward;
- Live with discomfort, knowing that in the end what is meant for me will happen at the right time;
- Tolerate the disapproval of someone I love, knowing that compromising my authentic self in exchange for another person’s affection or approval is self-destructive;
- Accept contradictions of all kinds without the need to debate or argue;
- Seek support rather than comfort when the need arises;
- Support others without expecting anything in return.
Every sober breath is a gift. I have had 2,190 beautiful days in recovery. Thank you for celebrating with me!