I’ve tried sobriety too many times to count.

It has been a developmental journey for me.

I was like a baby when I first realized that I had a problem. I was scared, pissy, and whiny. And while I’ve had many sober attempts, many moderation attempts, and some—I don’t want to quit drinking attempts. I grew through each phase.

My biggest problem was that I didn’t want to stop drinking. It was the magical elixir. Perhaps the biggest lie I’ve ever told myself.

I want to stop, now: not out of shame, or because someone thinks I should, or because I am afraid. I am stopping for me. There are many things I want to accomplish before I exit this earth. I can’t do any of them under the influence.

I have great sorrow in my life. My heart has been so broken, that I could actually feel it. That has not changed.

What has changed is my ability to rise to the occasion, face my losses, and find a flicker of joy deep inside–I thought it was snuffed out. It was not. That was alcohol doing the talking. No pink cloud, here. Just an abiding sense of humanity.

Being alcohol free has given me:

  • kindness
  • thoughtfulness
  • loss of self-centeredness
  • compassion
  • understanding

I am feeling so very different these days.

My deep sadness has been replaced with a spark of joy. My depression is lifting. My anxiety has lessoned to almost being nonexistent. Although some things have not changed, I am changing. I am actually singing with the radio again.

When I examine what is different?

  • 1) I am not drinking alcohol.
  • 2) I am eating a sound, nutritional diet.
  • 3) I am drinking enough filtered water.
  • 4) I am actively working my recovery program.
  • 5) I am using the skills I am learning: like, self care without condemnation. Affirming my pain without judgement. Choosing to change my perspective if the one I am using is causing me pain.
  • 6) I am reconnecting with myself. I’ve been absent for a long while.

I am tracking my progress with a purple heart. At first…..I thought “no!” because purple hearts are reserved for heroes who show enormous courage to save another.

And then I realized: I am a hero.

Recovery is taking all the courage I’ve ever had and some I didn’t know I had…..I am saving me.

Yup. Purple Heart is more than appropriate.

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