Today marks 2 years of sobriety. Sobriety doesn't even begin to sum it all up. The word, itself, is just too small.
Looking back, I think the first year was spent sorting through the muck and trying to wiggle my way out of self-will. Leaving old patterns and default behaviors behind is messy business. Especially for a stubborn person like myself. I knew it was no longer going to work for me and I knew I had to let go. Trying to figure out HOW to let go is a quite a conundrum. When ceasing the fight is your battle and laying down your sword is the challenge, a person can find themselves in quite a pickle.
I know I've talked about this before but it's been so long since I've blogged, I can't remember what I've said or when. But, the moment I surrendered my will is the moment I became free. My "self" is still there. Oh boy is she still there.
Side note: because of an inspirational individual I've been following, I have named that inner voice "Helga". She's the bitch that messes with my head. She is my negative voice. The one that tells me I'm no good. She tells me I should give up. She is also the one that tells me to be a "right-fighter" and then if I do use my smart mouth, she tells me how stupid I am for doing that. Giving her a name gives me power over her. I've been challenged to recognize her when she starts yammering so that I can then tell her to zip it and follow it up with something positive. May sound kinda silly but it is a very powerful tool.
The last half of this, my second year of sobriety, has been about taking my life back. This is the part where I've recognized the line in the serenity prayer that says the courage to change the things I can. While ceasing my control and power over my life, God says, "you have the power to change". God gives me the will and directs my life but I can't move unless it is my feet that do the walking. I can not simply lay down and expect life to get better. It is up to me to do something about it. Life is all about decisions. Big ones and little ones. They all shape who you are. I've made bad choices and suffered the consequences. I still, sometimes, make bad choices but I have learned to be quick to apologize not only to those around me but to myself.
Being sober is so much more than not drinking alcohol or doing drugs. Now that I've tasted freedom, it is my new addiction. I've laid down the sword of myself and picked up the sword of the Spirit. He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world. There is my battle to fight. For, I am a fighter at heart. God didn't do that on accident. He says, "you want to fight? Fight the good fight!" Instead of fighting for what I think is "fair" or arguing over right and wrong, I allow my soul to rest in the knowledge that I don't control that. Instead of fighting with myself and surrendering to bitterness and anger, I can stand and fight bitterness and anger with love and patience. Understanding that what other people think of me is none of my business...F R E E D O M. Let freedom ring! Hallelujah AMEN. Somewhere, deep inside me, it's always been there. Peace. It was just buried underneath so much of my own crap...I couldn't see it, let alone, feel it. And, I know where it resides now so I stalk it, follow it, stand in it's shadow. I take it with me.
The ONLY thing that God has given me dominion over is myself. I can't control what anybody says or does but I can completely control my reaction to it. Helga sometimes says, "but they are so wrong and maybe you should tell them how stupid they are...go ahead" or "They shouldn't be able to behave that way and get away with it." And, sometimes I really want to listen to her. I really want to tell some people how ridiculous their points of view are. I really want to tell them how mean and cruel and vicious they're being. I have to tell Helga to SHUT UP and then I hear the Spirit whisper, "nothing and no one gets away with cruelty. It is not your job to bring down judgement. I will do that. The only way you can make a difference is with love. If you let their cruelty kill your joy and your peace, you have only yourself to thank. You get to love everybody. You don't even have to decide who to love and who not to love. You're free from making that decision. And, in doing that...in simply loving even the meanest of people, you will be free. You will be happy. Your life will bear much fruit. Continue on your journey child with peace and love in your heart. Nothing they do can touch you because I am your soul/body guard. I am your source of peace."
I am doing things every day that will make my tomorrow better. I am living presently. I am being "in the now". I allow myself to feel uncomfortable without thinking I've got to drink something to get rid of it. Fully awake and alive, I am experiencing life. All of it. Even the yucky stuff. Because, if I'm fully awake and alive to experience the yuck, I will also be fully awake and alive to experience the wonderful. There are a million miracles awaiting me. I want to be there when they happen.