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[ Personal Narratives ]

What If???

Today is February 8th, 2016. I have 265 days sober. In two days it will be February 10th, 2016 and I will have 267 days sober. I had to check my phone to see how many days I have sober because I don’t focus on the how many anymore. I focus on today. Most days I’m successful at this, some days not so much. Every once in a while I catch myself thinking about the “what if’s” and all this does to me is put me in a funk. The past couple of days I’ve been stuck on wondering what if I hadn’t drank on May 18th, 2015? What if I hadn’t screwed up my life and worse, my kids lives?!?! I would be celebrating two years sober in a couple of days. 

On February 10th, 2015 I celebrated one year sober from alcohol and drugs. It was the first time ever to go that long without alcohol. I had counted down the days until I had a year and in my head, it was going to be a huge deal. I thought that when I quit drinking that life was going to be this huge celebration with me in the center of it, everyone everyday would congratulate me on my sobriety. Life would be rainbows and unicorns. I would be happy all the time! The total opposite happened. When I reached a year sober, I was miserable. My son was in a behavioral health hospital, I was in a relationship I felt obligated to be in, I didn’t like the AA I was attending, and I was very unhappy in sponsorship. And in the back of my mind was that little voice that said once probation is over with you’ll be able to drink again, life can go back to normal. 

The longer I went on this way, the louder that voice became and once again I was irritable, restless and discontent. I couldn’t wait until my probation was over, I needed a release NOW!!! The old way of thinking was back, act now and deal with the consequences later. Well, later came less than 24 hours after taking that first drink. Before I knew it DHS was taking my kids and I had court the next morning. I was miserable and so so hungover. 

I immediately went back to AA and raised my hand when they asked if anyone was in their first 30 days. I started the steps over with the same sponsor. The same boyfriend was still there stressing me out and acting as a father figure. I was STILL miserable except now I was disgusted by the thought of drinking!! What was there to do except just end it all!?!  Then one night I was expressing my concerns about my situation to my sponsor and she just went off on me. She said that no matter what happened, she would always be on “their side”. I was hurt. I felt betrayed. She has since made her amends and we are still close. But, something happened to me that night. I was awakened to the fact that I have a say in my life, I have the choice to stay miserable or make changes. It is ME that can walk away from all of the things that are making me miserable!! It is ME that can also choose to stay, but to stay and blame anyone else for my misery is insanity. So I walked away. 

I wonder what if I hadn’t drank that day. I wonder what if I had reached out to someone. I wonder what if I decided to stay in all the things that were making me miserable, where would I be now? Would I be celebrating two years sober in complete misery. Answer is who freaking knows and who freaking cares!!! 

What I do know is if I hadn’t drank that day I wouldn’t have started my blog MY TRUTH STARTS HERE, I would’ve stayed stuck in the fear of what others think of me. I still have that fear, but the more I share my truth the less power it has over me. 

If I hadn’t drank that day I wouldn’t know what it is to stand up for myself. I have a horrible need to people please and will stay in relationships way past their expiration date. I no longer feel the need to be in any kind of relationship that is not healthy for me. Doesn’t matter what kind of relationship; boyfriend, sponsorship, friends, or whatever. If it doesn’t make me feel good about myself then I’m done with it! 

If I hadn’t drank that day I would still have that little voice telling me “just one won’t hurt” or “this time it will be different”. May 18th, 2015 that voice was squashed!! It’s gone. Will it ever come back? I don’t know. But I do know when I see a bottle of beer on tv, I don’t see beer. What I see is: dhs, police, sadness, tears, therapist, money down the drain, ankle monitors, lawyers, and handcuffs. More than that, I feel the pain in my heart when my kids cry because they can’t come home with mommy. I feel the empty side of the bed my daughter slept on because she likes cuddling with mommy instead of being in her own bed. I pray to GOD everyday that little voice is gone for good. 

If I hadn’t drank that day, I wouldn’t have found my strength. I wouldn’t have found ME. Today I look in the mirror and I like who I’m becoming. Today I am able to say no and mean it. Today I can set boundaries and not feel guilty. Today I know that I am the mother my kids deserve. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. But, I’m no longer ashamed of who I am or what I have done. Everything that I have ever done or gone through has brought me here to today. Today I am 265 days sober and I am proud of myself. I never want to stop growing. I never want to stop learning. I hope one day my kids will look back and be proud their mother fell flat on her face and got right back up and kept on going. 

Instead of saying what if, today I say thank God.