Being sober for a while, it gets a bit easier to rest on your laurels. To think that you’ve got this thing licked and that you are just like everybody else. Normal. Wife, mother, employee, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, neighbor. The thing is though, that can all disappear with just one drink. While that seems dramatic, it is absolutely true. I’ve seen too many happy, healthy sober people I know go back out and lose everything. Am I afraid? HELL YES I AM. And I hope I always have this healthy fear. For when I get to the point where I think it might be ok to have that drink, I lose everything.
It would be impossible to list all the things I would miss but I can list a few.
- Finding myself. My second chance. Grabbing life by the balls and saying that’s it. I want in on that! And then working hard to get it and keep it and SHARE IT and then striving for more.
- Learning that I am absolutely enough. I have enough. I am enough. Period. Luxuriating in that knowledge and allowing it to seep into the darkest corners of my heart. I never would know this feeling of complete acceptance.
- I don’t need to respond to every argument.
- When these kids grab my face and kiss me on the mouth repeatedly. I would miss that. What an utter shame that would be.
- All the incredible things my body can do. Starting with getting out of bed in the morning without much pain. And then all the things it does all day in a healthy regular way.
- Relationships. True and deep. Painful and encouraging.
- The deepest sorrows.
- The highest highs.
- Just a normal average day.
- Being able to love another human being and receive love in return.
- Hot black coffee.
- Curling into my husband as his big arms envelope me.
- Feeling pain and being ok anyway.
- Sharing in another person’s joy and really being able to celebrate that, even though it has nothing to do with me.
- The way their little big eyes look into my very soul and not wanting to hide because of it.
- The howling, tears falling down my cheeks laughter my husband causes.
- The ability to pause before I react.
- Feeling beautiful even with no showy business.
- These pigtails and that glorious mommy bowl cut.
- The weight of their bodies.
- The smell of their heads.
- The carrying on the inside and the carrying on the outside until they can carry themselves.
- Their tiny voices getting stronger every day with so much to tell us.
- The kindness and compassion they show towards each other and us.
- The respect of my elders.
- The respect of my employers.
- The respect of my family.
- The respect of other women.
- The respect of other men.
- The respect of my friends.
- The respect of myself.
The truth is I need to write all this down every so often so that I remember. And there is so much more. So that I know how very much I have and that it will all be gone in a heartbeat if I don’t take responsibility for my sobriety. Am I willing to lose all these things? If my desire to drink gets too strong, then yes. Yes I am. But not today, Satan. NOT TODAY. Today, I choose sobriety and today I get ALL THE THINGS.
Here’s hoping tomorrow I choose the same way. I AM RESPONSIBLE. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. And we can choose responsibly if we are sober. It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen with little effort. Sobriety is the key. Whatever you do to get and stay sober – happy, joyous and free – DO IT. Keep doing it. Think of all the things we would miss. We can have a life beyond our wildest dreams and it’s all from within us and sharing it with others. Feel all those feelings. It works if you work it. One day at a time. Live like you mean it. You just never realize all you have to lose. Be kind and compassionate. It’s really all that matters.
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