Why Do Some Get And Stay Sober?

No two human experiences are ever the same. There can similarities but really everyone has their own journey maybe only understood by the one having it.

As far as drug addicts and alcoholics, the mystery is how some people get sober young, some old or some never.

Some people get sober and stay sober for their entire life and some get sober and relapse, get sober and relapse.

I can’t even fully answer the question of my own journey. I often wonder what it was about me that just couldn’t get it and keep it.

Even though it has been my path I don’t regret any of it.

I try not to spend too much time “figuring it out”.

Trying to “figure it out” never helped me before.

Staying present is my biggest tool for peace in my life.

What matters to me most now is what I’ve done this far to have a new and different experience with the 12 steps and with life.

I see more now than ever before.

I am more conscious than ever before.

I have more courage, faith, belief, trust, awareness, calm, peace, joy, freedom and hope than ever before.

That is what is important to me today.

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Back to Center

Today was absolutely beautiful.

Part of it was that I had the honor of speaking at a local treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction.

I am an observer.

I watch people.

As I looked around and watched everyone before the meeting, some laughing and joking, some solemn, some scared, I felt full. I saw a room full of people looking for a solution.

I felt hopeful.

I always take time to say a silent prayer before I speak, asking for God to speak through me, to not speak from ego and for God to allow me to speak truth to these people.

I ask that I say something that at least one person would hear to be of help.

I ask that I can touch people at a soul level.

It was an absolutely amazing experience to finish speaking and see people light up, newly sober, and want to share their truth.

To feel the outpouring of love and gratitude from this group of people is incomparable.

To connect with others, be real, share on an honest level and watch everyone open up, is why I continue to do what I do.

There is nothing like being a part of raising consciousness.

I feel purposeful.

I feel closer to God.

Still raw and vulnerable from events of this week, I so needed this today.

I needed to come back to center.

Thank you God.

The Story of Goodbye Letters

Today I decided to scroll through and delete notes from my notepad on my iPhone. I wanted to create more space as I tend to use this feature for everything under the sun. I write things to remember, addresses, books and documentaries I want to read and watch eventually, test run emails to send, write out blog posts and many other things.

When I went back to the earliest of notes, which were written before I got clean and sober this time, I found some things I would’ve liked to forget.

Actually, I HAD forgotten but this journey through my notepad was a jarring reminder of the life I had led, the things I had done and said and the space I was in mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Among the documentation of dates and events for my child custody lawyer, the pleading email drafts to my children’s father, the accusatory text drafts to his on again/off again girlfriend and the delusional words of a lost little girl with no hope, I found a draft of a suicide letter I had wrote to my then 14 year old son.

In the last few weeks before my intervention, I had reached the point of making it my mission to leave this earth. There was nothing in me that believed there was any hope of a way out. My fate was to die at an early age with a tragic ending to a tragic story.

I had given up. I had tried in multiple ways to end my life but something or someone always intervened.

While in my car on one of my three day disappearing acts, I decided I better write a goodbye letter to my boys. I guess I decided to intend that these letters get to them on their eighteenth birthdays.

In these letters I explain to my boys that I just didn’t know how to live anymore, that I loved them with all my heart and I would be watching over them in spirit always. I was deeply saddened for leaving them but there was no other way.

I knew I had left them in my car where they would be easily found. I don’t know what ever happened to those letters.

What I hadn’t remembered was that I wrote them first on my iPhone notepad, which is where for the first time sober, I got to read them today.

It was like reading an excerpt of a book written about a fictional character or taking a peek into the life of someone else. I felt sadness for this girl.

She was so scared, alone and hopeless that she felt the best she could do is take her own life and leave behind her two beautiful sons because she felt they would have a better life without her.

She felt she had nothing left to offer the world or anyone in it.

It’s been over seven months now and how she, or I, have changed can only be described as a miracle.

Today my life is full of purpose and joy.

I have a full life of family, friends, loved ones and a fellowship that has risen up around me through simply being kind, loving and of service to others. Most of my days are happy, joyous and free. I strive to live life as fully as I can with new experiences every day. I am always learning new things about myself and others which bring me closer to who God intends me to be.

This miracle has happened only through working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which brought me to know my creator.

 

Wingless Angels

Universe of all things created

Is it time for truth so soon

When this fragile soul has been lifted up

Must it sink into lost memories unwanted, undeserved

An innocent child unprotected

Senseless occurrences leaving angel’s wingless

Youth stolen by faceless beings

Safety stolen

It must be time

Truth will cannot be hidden for eternity

There is no backwards but only pushing on

Trust is paramount

Embraced in warmth of the all knowing light

Safe in your presence my spirit rests

Hidden from dark shadows grasping from below

Return of the darkness

It’s easy to forget, the further I get away from the time I lived in complete darkness, that I am blessed to still be alive on this planet. It’s easy to forget everything I should be grateful for when I have the disease of alcoholism. The odds of surviving alcoholism aren’t good. It doesn’t mean it’s not possible to live a life that’s free and joyous, it’s just that people like me have to constantly work at it, constantly connect with a higher power.

This weekend reminded me of how fragile I am.

Looking back on things I seem to have more clarity than when I’m “in it”. My ego was hard at work before I was even conscious to it. I was already in a downward spiral of lack of faith and heightened fear. I was forgetting everything that had become clear.

My connection was fading.

I felt like I needed to go back to see my boys. I went back to the town where everything “happened” thinking I would be alright.

So I went.

When I got there my thinking mind went to work to screw me. I was not in a good place. But I was there. Every place I went I had horrible memories flash before me. It had happened when I had made previous visits but this time was different. It was vivid and “real”.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt uneasy. I felt and underlying anxiousness that would not go away. I prayed “God help me” over and over.

It seemed too late for that.

When the second night finally came I was not prepared for what was to come. A situation came up that I was totally not in a place to deal with. Suddenly not only did I not trust myself but I didn’t trust God or anyone else. Thoughts of a drink or a drug seemed inevitable. I just wanted the terrible feeling to go away. The worst of it had gone on for hours. It seemed like an eternity.

I felt completely at the mercy of my circumstances and my alcoholism. My mind would not allow me to accept help. It was almost over.

My life flashed before my eyes, especially about the last 6 months I have spent sober. I thought to myself how sad it was going to be, to end this way. I mean end this way because I wouldn’t last long if I went back to alcohol and drugs. I know it. I lived in complete hell. I can’t even stand the memories of it. The disease has progressed too far for me to live like that anymore. I wouldn’t come back.

I don’t know how I asked for help when it felt like everything in me was fighting it. Maybe my previous praying did work. I know it was God.

It wasn’t me.

I made it back out of my old home town. I am back in my safe bubble, fragile, overwhelmed and a little lost still but I’m alive, sober and grateful. I’m focusing on building back my connection to the universe and everything in it. Life is happening around me. I’m saying yes to everything. I’m opening up to people, helping those around me, telling the truth and asking for help. I’m humbled once again.

I never can assume that I am guaranteed another day or that I can rest on the spirituality of yesterday.

I only have today.

And to the person who took a chance and answered my call for help, thank you. You have no idea how you changed the course of my life that night.

Protect Your Light

No human can save me from alcoholism.

No human can “fix” me.

No human can love me enough if I can’t love myself first.

No one can be good enough for me until I believe that I am good enough.

Untreated alcoholism looks like addiction to tragedy and suffering.

It looks like addiction to drama and running from everything that is good and full of light.

I was warned about a spiritual sickness where some people would suck the light and energy from me.

I have experienced this.

It’s something unconscious that happens. These people aren’t bad, just sick.

I was one of these people once.

There’s a lot to be said for protecting our space. For knowing our limits and not giving up our light for ANYONE. No matter how much we love them.

It’s frustrating to see what others cannot recognise about themselves. To see people struggle, to see people choose to live in sad stories and pain, is almost too much to watch sometimes.

We must let these people go and find their own way. Staying too long can drag us down.

I refuse to live trapped on this earth by ego, abstinent from mood altering substances. If I am to live, I must live free and find what I was seeking all along…

A spiritual experience.

Music

Music has always been extremely important to me and my spiritual, mental and emotional well being.  It really has the power to alter my mood and I choose very carefully what I listen to.  

I recently rediscovered The Sundays, a British band that I listened to years ago, that always made me feel really good.  There’s something about the lead singer’s voice that is angelic and the accent doesn’t hurt either.

Here are the lyrics and a link to Love, off of their 1992 album Blind.

“Love”

Picture myself as a thin white child
Back to the day I was born on
They slapped me into line as it crossed my mind
I’ve felt better
I’ve felt worse

This is my life and it’s all very well
But never, never, never again
As they say “We’ve been robbed”
And don’t you know that this time

Love, love, love, just love yourself like no one else
Love, it’s enough
They can say what they like but they still can’t take that

Distance myself from the things I’d like but
Everyone has something I need
Don’t let me wake up & find
All those others leaving me behind

If you don’t have a clue about life
Then I’m happy, happy, happy to say
Neither have I although
I’m not going to shrug my shoulders & suck my thumb
This time
Cos there’s something I deserve

Love, love, love, just love yourself like no one else
Love, it’s enough
They can say what they like but they still can’t take that

Picture my house in a postcard town
Picture a bomb in the sky
History at your door
Who could ask for more?
I’ve felt better

So kill me with love, love, love
Just love yourself like no one else
Love, it’s enough
They can say what they like but they still can’t take that

A Mom Living Apart From My Babies

As I sit here smoking a cigarette overlooking the pool on my patio steps, two hours a way from where my home used to be where my two sons live, tears fall down my cheeks in waves.  I finally opened the cellophane wrapped school pictures that were taken this year.  I was given them almost two weeks ago when I last spent the weekend with my children for a visit.

Why have a waited almost two weeks to take out the tucked away photos and look at them for the first time?

Maybe because I wasn’t ready.  Maybe because it is too painful.  Maybe because it is a bitter reminder of a picture day I had missed for the first time.  A first time I did not pick out there clothes the night before, styled their hair in the morning and let them know as they went out into the world for that day that they are beautiful inside and out.

This is the most recent in a series of first events or occasions I have missed since getting sober this time.  I was not there for Christmas, New Years, a first basketball game of the season, a first high school baseball game, a 15th birthday and now, a school picture day.

Why do I not run home to them when my soul aches to be near them?  Why do I not seek and manipulate a way back to them so I can be a part of these occasions that have belonged to me and to us for so many years?

The answer is because of what I am and the disease I suffer from and what is necessary to treat it.  After many, many attempts to run back to be a physically present mother first and not putting the treatment of my disease number one over everything else, I have yet to “stay” clean and sober.  Once again, I am back to a beginning after going through another period of great suffering trying to get and keep this thing called sobriety.

I just can’t be the mother who puts everything else before my own well being and make it work.  I can’t go back and be the mother I was at one time.

My primary purpose on this earth is to stay sober, seek God and help others do the same.  The only solution to my condition is a spiritual awakening.  I have finally suffered enough defeat to thoroughly understand this concept.  I must seek God and work towards a growing consciousness, finding my purpose on this planet if I am to be free from needing to alter myself chemically just to exist in the world.

For me, it’s one or the other.

I have found that spiritual growth and constant focus on clearing away the things that block me from myself, God and others gives me a daily freedom from the need to alter myself.  There is nothing more important to me today that having this freedom and keeping a centered and peaceful inner self.  Only with this work do I get a life, experience joy, laughter and gratitude that fills my heart.  Who would have thought that what I had been seeking all along in alcohol and drugs, which turned on me and failed me, I would find in spirituality and God?

I may not be the mother I once was, in the way I was but I still get to be a mother and my boys still get to have me in their life in a better way.  Today I believe that I will be a mother that is more impactful than what they have ever gotten to experience before.  I will be the kind of mom that God intended me to be, a light to balance out the darkness, a way out of the problems and a guide to becoming who they are meant to be.

I will be an inspiration.

This hope and faith is what keeps my butt where I am.  It’s not easy and some days are harder than others.  But it’s not just about me anymore and how I feel about things.  This has become about all of us, ascending into a better life, something greater.

My part in this?  Well, it’s to stay on the path set out for me, remain teachable and to keep seeking answers from within.

For today, I am okay, my children are okay and everything is exactly how it should be.

Trusting God With My Children

I just got back from my first overnight visit with my children in what was my hometown just about 4 months ago.  It still sounds weird to me that I am visiting my children.  These are little parts of me that I have raised since I gave birth to them and I don’t live with them anymore.  They are part of me and I am part of them.

Why don’t I live with them?  Why do I just visit, sometimes for just a few hours, this time for just short of two days?

The answer is still evolving but for right now, it’s so I can save my life and follow what God wants for me.

I have two voices that speak to me constantly, one is the voice of my ego and one is the voice of God.  Ego says that to be a mother, I must live by the standards of other human beings,  living with my children, making their meals, taking them to school, sports, playdates, helping with homework, having sleep overs and the rest that goes with being physically present, all while trying to not medicate myself so I can deal with the life I would live there.  If there is time left over to find out who I am and my purpose on this planet, do that last.  The voice inside of me that is God says that I need to be away from them, for right now, and continue to seek his will for me.  God says I need to stay where I am so that I may be surrounded by those who carry the light to show me the way.

I don’t know what kind of mother the universe wants me to be.  For now, it’s not what the world will tell me.  My place is physically somewhere separate from them so I can be there with them spiritually and emotionally in a way that I was unable to be before.  One day my place may be back in the same home with them or maybe it may never be that way again.  Unless I put my spiritual growth number one and seek to be of service to give away what I have found, I don’t get to be a mother and my children don’t get me at all.

My primary purpose on this earth is to seek to raise my own consciousness and help others do the same.  This must happen for someone like me or I will cease to be the authentic spiritual being I am, sliding back to darkness and possibly never coming back.   It matters to me less and less everyday what others think of what I do and the kind of mother I am today and more what my relationship with God tells me.

Through that I am finding the freedom I have always been looking for.

There Is A Way Out Of The Darkness

There was a time I didn’t believe in anything but the problems in the world and everyone in it.  It’s like all I saw was suffering, pain, heartache and the unfairness of it all.    

Only through looking back on what landed me where I am today can I see that I just had to put “something” in my body to survive, to deal with that despair and try to appear to other humans like  I was functioning fine like I believed everyone else to be.  I always thought that I was the one that was somehow “wrong” because I could not achieve this false idea of success that I thought I saw everyone around me obtaining.  I would have spurts of physical world achievement, the job, the money, the house and then always at some point, burn out and take giant steps backwards.  Sinking deeper and deeper into what I viewed as failure, hurting more and more people and harboring more and more resentments, the world closed in around me.

I had no idea that my vision of the world was directly a result of the way I felt about myself.  If someone would have told me this at the time, I could not have heard it, like a lot of things said that make an impact on me today.  I had been asleep, unconscious and distracted by the physical world.

Today I am able to here what I need to here to keep evolving spiritually to head towards the truth. It comes one piece at a time, which for an impatient person like me sometimes feels like it’s not enough but I know that it has to come slow for the growth to take root.  Only when I slow down and work to quiet my mind am I able to really see things that I need see to take the next step in fulfilling my purpose on this earth.  Today I know that I can’t ever be a part of any solution unless I take a hard look at myself and be that change first.  If immersed in the voice that lives between my ears, I start believing that I need things, people and events to be okay.  My reality becomes the thought that the only solution to find happiness and fulfillment in this world has to be only in those things appearing, people behaving and events happening exactly the way I want them to.  That is a lie that I will tell myself if not constantly striving to stay God centered.

There is such freedom in the awareness that I can rely on something bigger than my head today.  I can listen to the voice of God that resides in me.  When I listen to that voice, I have hope, experience love and the people around me appear not as the enemy but the same as me and I feel connected to everything.  

The universe is truly opening up today in my life as a direct result of having faith in God and the willingness to give every part of me and my life over to the care of that God.  I am so relieved that I don’t believe anymore that living a life with purpose has to come from me, because alone, I can’t do it.