18 Months Sober: Fulfilling the Promise of Hope

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My sponsor sent me a picture yesterday of someone opening a wine bottle in the hatchback of their SUV at 11 o’clock in the morning.  She commented she was glad that was not her anymore.  I agreed but said I would’ve at least waited until I got inside the car.  Which was kind of dark humor I guess.

It got me thinking of those days and things I did to get my wine.  All the scheming and sneaking around and lying and covering my tracks. Always covering tracks.

I don’t get that grip of shame anymore when I think about it.  It is more of thought like

“was that ME?”  

I almost feel like it was a different person.  That person was really STUCK.  I knew how crazy the things I was doing were.  I would even say that to myself as I did them!  But I did them anyway.  

Getting unstuck was really hard.  It requires a lot of conviction that change needed to happen.  For me, finally, the pain and consequences of drinking broke the spell that alcohol had on me.  

I won’t lie, it was a hard first 30 days, and the next year was a lot of work and self discovery. But I will say at almost 18 months sober, I almost cannot believe that was me. I almost cannot believe that I was living that way. I almost cannot believe the lengths I would go to in order to satisfy the need for my wine. 

It seemed a big and scary idea to stop drinking.  I wasn’t sure what would happen in my life.  But I was pretty convinced it was going to be all bad things if I kept drinking. I took it one day at a time and tried not to think of forever.  Forever is overwhelming. It still is!

I was thinking this morning of the scripture of the mustard seed and how it related to early sobriety–

Matthew 17:20, Jesus said,

 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

But, what does it mean to have faith like a grain of mustard seed?  The mustard seed is one of the tiniest, most insignificant seeds found in the Middle East. A fast-growing annual herb, the mustard seed grows up to 10 feet tall in just a few short months, demonstrating the striking example of the potential of a small, insignificant seed.

I just had that little mustard seed of hope to start, that little seed of courage and desire to change. I was not full of confidence to start. I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I did.

AA has 12 promises and the first four are my favorites. 

Promise 1: We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness

Promise 2: We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

Promise 3: We will comprehend the word serenity.

Promise 4: We will know peace.

These have all come true for me. I am thankful every day for my sobriety, the happiness, peace and serenity it has given me. I am thankful for all the help I have received here on BOOM, in AA and friends and family.  If you only have a tiny mustard seed of hope that you can do this, please realize that is all you need  to start. 

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