“I feel like I’ve lost my best friend,” I said to my counselor after being in a treatment center for a couple of days.
“Well, in a weird and somewhat unhealthy way, you have,” she said.
I wasn’t talking about a person. I was talking about the OxyContin. I was talking about my Captain Morgan. And while alcohol and opioids were my drugs of choice, I was really mourning the loss of any chemicals that I had used in my past to smother, deflect, and well – survive.
In 2010, when I finally made the decision to try this whole recovery thing, it wasn’t until I was about three months sober that I started to become confused about who I was. I was in this weird place where I felt like I had one foot in the doorway of who I used to be and the other into a place that I wanted to be. It was very emotional and, at moments, very confusing.
One night, out of nowhere, I simply began to cry. At a little past 90 days sober, I felt like a vase that had been dropped and shattered into a hundred different pieces. How would I look once I was completely put back together? It might sound dramatic, but for the first year of my sobriety, EVERYTHING was changing. My marriage was changing, my career was changing, and I was changing. It felt so overwhelming, but it was so necessary. I think for those first few months I was so in tune with simply placing one foot in front of the other, that I hadn’t allowed myself to feel everything that had gone along with that. I wasn’t the same person anymore, but who was I? What kind of person was I going to be in sobriety?
At over seven years later, here is who I am.
I am someone who still loves to dance and listen to music without a buzz or a drink in my hand. (I still look drunk when I dance, but progress not perfection, right? Ha!)
I am someone who knows how to be a friend to someone without expecting something in return. I can contribute to a friendship today, rather than constantly taking.
I am someone who values myself when it comes to relationships with men. I finally married someone who cherishes and values me in the same way that I do them.
I am someone who can be trusted with important tasks, financial obligations, and commitments. If I say I am going to do something, chances are, I will.
I am someone who genuinely enjoys helping others. And not because I am hoping to get anything out of it, except for maybe knowing I have made a difference.
I am someone who has a relationship with a really big God! One that I wasn’t even sure really existed when I first got sober. I have seen Him perform miracles within me and within countless others.
I am someone who can go to sleep with contentment and wake up with peace. I no longer dread the days or live in a constant state of anxiety.
I am someone who tells the truth and tries to live the truth, instead of living and telling lies.
My sobriety continues to grow every single day. No year has been the same, and I suspect it will stay that way. Change is inevitable, and growth is optional. I am grateful that I stuck out the growing pains, and I hope that if you’re struggling in the same place that I was, you’ll stick it out too. All it takes is some honesty, willingness, and open-mindedness.