Today is my anniversary! Most people celebrate their wedding anniversary, sometimes their anniversary at being at job, etc. I celebrate my sobriety anniversary. For me it’s a celebration of the night god saved my life. Every year I post the story of my last drunk. A reminder of a dark time in my life. Today I’m not going to do that. I’d like to focus on something different or rather the person who touched my life and made a difference.
As you all know I am a recovered alcoholic. I am celebrating 15 years of sobriety today. My last drunk was 3 fifths, a half gallon of whiskey and a bottle of wine. I cut my face, my arms, my legs and I burned off my eyelashes on one of my eyes. All this in 48 hours. What can I say? I like to go all out. Lol. My best friend and attorney, along w the help of my parents got me in to rehab a few days later. Prior to this I had gone through a year long challenging divorce w my ex husband. Of course that’s another story. I used alcohol as a way to escape the reality of a very challenging life. I entered rehab with the thought I was not an alcoholic rather an abuser. Of course I was in complete denial and couldn’t imagine calling myself an alcoholic. After all, I wasn’t homeless, I was always dressed nice and I was “woman of the Year” in my beta group.
I met a woman in my group who was a corporate executive for Microsoft. She was successful, beautiful, dressed to the nines and…..she was an alcoholic. Hard to believe. She didn’t fit the stereotype we all have of an alcoholic. I had been in treatment for 7 days and was at my group. This woman was sharing her story. As I listened to this woman speak of her trials with alcohol I found myself resonating with her story. I’ll never forget she was wearing a beautiful creme colored pantsuit. Everything about her was spot on. She looked like she had stepped out of a magazine. As she shared her story I found myself resonating with some of the embarrassing things she had done while drinking and when she said “I’m an alcoholic” everything clicked. It was that “AHA” moment!! I blurted out “I’ve done that…….Am I an alcoholic?!” Tada! Welcome to treatment.
It was that day I made the decision to accept I was an alcoholic and it was the impact that woman had when she shared that changed my life forever. I’m telling you this because we can be that woman too. We all have a story and we all have the ability to share our stories with others. Sometimes it’s that crappy, humiliating story that is an inspiration or hope for someone else.
It’s funny I barely remember that woman’s face but I remember her creme colored suit. She was everything I wanted to be. She was courageous, she was honest, she was smart, successful and she was just like me. She inspired me to believe if she can do it, then so can I. I’ve never seen this woman again but the impact she had on my life lives in me forever. I want to be that person for someone else which is why I became a member of the John Maxwell Team. Their mission is to add value to the lives of others and make a difference. That is what I am striving to do. So today as I celebrate 15 years of sobriety I also celebrate the fact that alcoholism or even the events that led up to my recovery may be a part of my story but it’s not my story today. Today I am a survivor and I’m striving to make a difference.