As I reflect on the thirteen years of sobriety I celebrate, on March 24th of this year, the only answer I have to “How did you do that?” is “I imagine the only way I did it was God helped me to be humble enough to be teachable.
I think of the people who have passed through my life during these weeks, months and years of being sober, one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time, and I am grateful for them. As well, I passed through their lives. Hopefully leaving enough of an impact that the legacy of me was a positive one.
To love and be loved is the greatest joy on earth is something I now understand. I had always been waiting, just hoping for the time when a certain man would come into my life and make it all better. “Once I got married and we had children, everything got better.” said no one ever. Life is filled with all of the ups and downs from the decisions I have made with others, and on my own that have brought me to those places of joy and upheaval and God brought me through them.
Being humble means, to me, a way of non-reaction. An addict/alcoholic is so reactive based on years of tiptoeing around those ‘in charge’ who might ignite into rage at any moment. That level of chronic anxiety, for me, brought an anticipation accompanied by dread that the worst will indeed happen.
So it is no wonder that addiction is an attempt to be okay by any means possible found on the outside of us. Drugs, alcohol, eating/not eating, sexing, spending and gambling are the biggies. Most any action can be addictive in nature if it interferes with our ability to function in life and impacts those around us.
Today, life is good. Every second of it. With all of the pain and suffering of those around me I can be at peace knowing that everything is okay, and none of us have to wait until everything ‘will be okay’. It already is.
Debra Whittam is the author of “I'm I Going to be Ok?" For any media inquiries or questions please contact: Contact@DebraWhittam.com