As I come close to the one year mark, I find myself focusing more on staying in touch with my higher power every day. And before you click the X in your browser, just hear me out. I said “higher power” because I do realize not everyone believes in God. When I say higher power, yes, to me it is God. But I respect that not everyone views the same as I do, so I say higher power. Translate that word into whatever you want. Think of a tree, Buddha, Michael Jackson, or your first pet! As long as you can turn to faith and be willing to believe that something greater than yourself is helping you along this journey, I believe you have a chance. Why? Because this is the only option that has worked. This is the ONLY reason why I am sober while typing this journal entry. I tried everything else MY WAY. You name it, I tried it. Doing it my way began with simple excuses which I had thought were completely rational explanations. First of all, so what I drank every day. I was young and every 19 year old was drinking! It was normal! And so what if I drank a few times a week after my twin babies were born 4 years later. I was a young stay at home mom, exhausted, unhappy fiancé and mother of twins! I deserved a drink and you most likely were counting down the minutes until I took my first sip because only then was I able to relax. It wasn’t even a big deal when I drank nightly as a single mother and put my sons to bed each night. There was no need to worry about the bills that I had to figure out how to pay on my own, or the food I had to buy. I had family to help me, right?! It was perfectly normal to slowly drown myself in an alcoholic induced depression that manifested into complete and utter chaos. Afterall, it was everyone elses fault. Life just didn’t like me. From the time I was born into this world, I was dealt the crappiest cards in the world. I was just waiting for life to get its act in gear and deal me a nice hand! I hope you are sensing the sarcasm here. Even as I type this out loud I cannot believe that I had thought this way at one point of my life. It gets better. How about when I started talking myself out of drinking every morning after waking up hung over. All day long my mind was completely consumed with giving myself a pep talk about not drinking that night. Just one night I told myself and then tomorrow night I wont feel so guilty! Sure there were about TWO times that this worked, but even on those TWO nights I was absolultely miserable. I would be driving to get my boys from daycare, and all the way up the the last second I would be saying ” I am not going to the liquor store, I am not going to the liquore store ” and BOOM! I would take the last possible turn at the last possible second and I was in the parking lot of the liquor store. Some days I even went out of my way, in the oppostite direction just to avoid the same cashier so she wouldn’t suspect me of being an alcoholic. Sometimes I even had the clever idea of asking the cashier if she recommended a red wine that I could cook a steak with. All of these things sound completely insane! Why? BECAUSE I WAS INSANE! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I drank over and over and over and over expecting that my life would some day some how make a magical turn for the better and POOF! Everything would be perfect and I wouldn’t be unhappy anymore, I wouldn’t have money troubles, my relationship would be great AND I would finally figure out how to drink like a normal person! HA! NORMAL? I must have been INSANE! Clearly, quite clearly I was no where near normal. I was sick. So spiritually, emotionally and physically sick. I was slowly dying. At my weakest moments, late at night, I knew what I was doing was wrong. I knew I was going to die and leave my sons motherless. I knew my family would be at my funeral and be so devastated beyond words. I knew that if I had to sit beside myself as a little girl, that I would be sad. How would I explain myself to her? I couldn’t. That’s when I realized I was not only disappointing everyone who loved me, I was disappointing myself. I had lost myself. I had no idea where I had gone. No amount of alcohol could help me find her. I remember during my last weeks drinking, I knew I was coming close to my bottom. My soul could sense it. I didn’t know how or when, but I knew it was coming. For those of you who may not understand addiction very well let me be clear of something. We addicts, know what we are doing to ourselves! But it gets so bad that eventually we don’t know any way of fixing it. Our hope is gone and the addiction takes over completely. We end up believing all the horrible things said to us, done to us or thought about us that had made us pick up a drink in the first place! I drank because I pushed so many horrible feelings down inside, so many hurtful memories and I was so afraid. I was afraid to FEEL. So being predisposed to alcoholism, ofcourse one sip is all it took and I was hooked. So when the day finally came when I decided that it was my rock bottom, it was either my sons or alcohol. I chose my sons. (read about that in another post below!) I was done with alcohol even though I had no idea how in the world I was going to do it. I went to an AA meeting, and started going every single day. After a couple of months I asked this woman to help me, who I had heard speak many times about a “spiritual malady” and how its crucial to fix that in order to be happy sober, and not just dry. She began to take me through the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous. I was miserable, depressed, irritable, restless and discontent. But I met with her each time anyways. My sons played in the McDonalds play place and I sat and listened to her read the big book to me. She explained things that I had never been able to dissect or explain to myself before. There were times that I had even said to her, “Please don’t take offence, but I don’t believe this is going to work. I am going to be miserable and depressed for the rest of my life”. All she would do is smile back at me and say, “Don’t worry, more will be revealed.” Each time I felt like cancelling our next meeting I thought about my sons. I thought about them grown up and hating me one day. I did not want to be the source of their problems growing up. Sure, they are going to run into trouble and problems one day as we all do in life, but I decided, that I was not going to be the root or the source of their problems. God gave me twin boys because I believe God knew they were meant to have me as their mother and I was meant to have two adorable, loving, sweet boys in my life. Together, the three of us complete one another. My heart is complete with two little heart beats beside mine. Just as they once grew inside me. So, if I had to turn my will over to a higher power that I could not see, feel, nor hear, but just be willing to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, I was willing to try. And that’s all it took. I was WILLING. And so I began to have fewer depressed days, and more happy days. And when I did have a bad day, they became a bit easier to get through because I started out praying when I woke up. Giving thanks, and asking for patience, and the willingness to do the right thing. I can honestly say that today, as I head close to my 1 year of sobriety (July 24 2015) I feel serenity in my heart. I do feel peace at the end of the day. I am calmer, and I honestly can say that I am starting to like who I am becoming. I am finding myself again and I am not afraid. When I think about it, there must have been a higher power watching me all along. I escaped death. I am still here because I am a survivor. After all I owe it to that little girl who was once lost.