Life in Sobriety... and more. A little of my addiction, what it's like now, and a little in-between. Most of us were asked as a child, what we wanted to be when we grew up. Doctor. Chef. Teacher. President. And the list goes on. But I bet most of us have never said that we wanted to become an alcoholic or an addict. “Yeah! I want to live a life of self-destruction (of body, mind, and soul). I can't wait to destroy everything I may have had going for me, and and hurt those who love me!” No, that's not what we normally hear, right? I have come to learn that this is a form of a mental illness, and becomes a physical sickness, as well. I never knew that by having even one drink for fun when I was young, would lead to a life of hell. One line... became hundreds. One hit, became hundreds... and costed me thousands and thousands of dollars, over the years. Living a life consumed by alcohol and drugs was devastating for me, and for those around me. I hid, I lied, I manipulated in different ways. I became involved in bad relationships. I went through my entire bank account, and more. I lost a great job. I just kept spiraling downhill as the alcohol and drug use progressed. It all started with drinking, occasional use of pot, and then escalated to cocaine, then crack use, for years. I can't believe that a liquid in a bottle, a powder, a little rock-like thing, could have such a hold on a person. The times I wasn't using any of those, I was thinking about them. I hated who I became. I became the person said I'd never become. I tried taking my own life, twice, although what I was doing was killing myself slowly, anyway. Four rehabs planted seeds, but I didn't stay sober after any of them. I just kept spiraling downhill. I didn't take care of my responsibilities as well as I could have, even though I justified that I did. I was maybe half there mentally and physically. Alcohol and drug use were symptoms of my own sickness inside. I believe I had a soul sickness. I tried filling it with different things over the years, and the addiction was basically the last symptom of it all. I did good things through it all, don't get me wrong. We are decent people, but are sick and make bad choices, although somewhere along the lines, I believe I even lost my ability to choose wisely, and it became my normal, no matter what the cost. How can anyone live like this and be considered normal and well? We can't, because we're not. Anyway, I finally got to the point where I was just sick of the way I was living. I was afraid to die, but was afraid to live, too. I could not picture myself living without a drink, honestly. The rest of my life? OMG... I projected so badly: "I"m young." "I can't drink at my own wedding?" "What about picnics?" And the list goes on. But, eight years ago, I finally had something click in my brain, and to this day, I still can't explain it, but I wanted to get better. I wanted to change more than I wanted to stay the same. I wanted to stay sober, more than I wanted to drink. I wanted to live a different way. My dogs over the years, including Bella, really aided in me wanting to live differently, and I'll blog about that sometime. I just couldn't stand it, or myself, anymore. I wanted change, and it was for the right reasons, even if it was just a small reason... a crack in the darkness. It was still a crack that allowed in some Light. My life isn't about not drinking, but it's just about living a different way, but I had (and continue to) learn how to do so, over the years. I can now take care of my girl fully, and try to give her a life. I know she is getting older, and I can be there, 100% for her. She doesn't have to see me with a drink in my hand or using any drug, ever again. This little girl can tell you stories. I let Christ into my heart, and have a relationship with God. I don't just know about him, but have a relationship with Him. I am blessed with so many good people in my life. I have still hurt people, and have been hurt, but keep moving forward, as I change perspective on life and how to handle different people and situations. People and relationships were never my strong point (lol), which also aided in all I did. I never even thought I'd be in a good relationship, and I am so blessed by it. I'm still learning and seeing so much about myself, life, and God, and still am amazed by it all... even with my faults. I have learned to let them go, even though they still creep up. It's like a whack-a-mole game. One pops up, you crush it, then. another pops up. lol! I am so, so grateful for Bella, and all she has shown me, and continues to show me. I am so grateful to those who have walked before me and helped to show me the way. I try to give back where and when I'm able, how I'm able. I take time for myself and God. I never thought I'd be where I am in life today, in a whole new direction in sobriety, in career, and in my Faith. I have learned love, forgiveness, patience (including for myself), and have a peace like no other. Continual practice of these things helps to get it embedded in our souls, and we need the trials and challenges to learn these things as we grow in our walk. Trust in God with your whole heart, and not in your own understanding of things. We can do it all through Him, who gives me the strength that I need. My Girl & Me, in gratitude. I can't tell you how darn grateful I am. Feel free to share.