As of today, I am six years alcohol-free! I haven’t had a drink in all that time, and I really don’t miss it any longer. That’s not to say that the past year has been super easy, but I am still better off today that I could have ever imagined.
When I began my sixth year without drinking, I was struggling to find another habit to grab ahold of. I was getting wrapped up in all of the things I felt I was missing out on. As a person who experiences addiction, I often find myself wanting something more, but that doesn’t mean I will always feel tortured by this desire. I know it’s important to focus my energy on the positive things in life. I have so much to be thankful for, but I was struggling to try and live up to self-imposed standards of excellence that were extreme.
Thankfully, over the past few months, I have started to take better care of my mind, body, and spirit in all of the things that I choose to do. That was key for me. I realized that I have a choice, and that I am responsible to act for myself and own the consequences. Whenever things seem out of control, I now have learned to stop, take a deep breath (or three), and recite the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Now, I am doing my best to focus on the things that are truly important. I am trying not to let challenging situations discourage me. I am also trying to accept that every day won’t be perfect. In order to truly learn, we must allow ourselves to fail, so that we can grow.
I believe that God has created me for a purpose. His plan has been set into action, and my responsibility is to show up and walk a faithful walk. I don’t need to be perfect, but I want to live with a heart full of love for others.
So, my plan for this year is to remind myself daily that when things are getting dicey, it’s because I’m trying to be in control of the situation, and most likely I have missed an important detail. My job is not to drive this magic bus, but to be in a good seat with a great view of all of the blessings that I have received.
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey, for reading this story, and supporting my efforts to improve my life. If I may offer any encouragement to those on a similar path, please don’t give up, and when you fail (as we all do), don’t let that failure become a setback. Instead, pick yourself up, and use it as an opportunity to launch yourself in a positive direction.