Friday, September 16, 2016

Celebrating TEN Years of Sobriety!!

I am extremely proud to announce that today, September 16, 2016, I boastfully celebrate my TEN YEAR Anniversary of Sobriety from Alcohol!!!

Ten Years. Wow. That's a long time to do anything (or nothing in this case.) I don't know that I have the adequate words to describe how proud I am of myself for resisting temptation for ten years.  Giving up anything takes commitment. Commitment to yourself. I decided 10 years ago to take control over the generational strongholds within my family and break the chains of alcoholism.

Choosing not to drink alcohol is a day to day promise to be loyal to my health.   To be loyal to my body – the temple of God.  To be loyal to my future family, God willing.  And to be loyal to my faith in Jesus Christ.  Are there days that I wish I could have a glass of wine? Absolutely! But even now, 10 years later, I do not trust myself that the one glass of wine would not turn into 14 shots of tequila. I'm not exaggerating.  Addiction runs strong on one side of my family. I have been criticized, ridiculed, made fun of, my boundaries have been pushed, and I have had to set boundaries. Staying sober for 10 years isn't easy, especially when others try to push alcohol on me.  All of my close friends know of my sobriety and respect and honor that decision. And on the other side of the coin, I do not shun others if they drink.  I only ask that they respect my rules and boundaries within my own home. Occasionally, I will go to a bar with friends to hear a band play or hang out. But I do not feel uncomfortable there as I once used to in my early days of sobriety. (I do not suggest this for everyone as it may be a trigger.  I personally had to wait about 7 years before I could trust myself in a bar.)  Alcohol is not something I want to build a relationship on. It is not a place that I look to find a partner. So, for me and my future, this is a personal decision and choice that I hold at the highest regard. Those within my inner circle support my sobriety, and they are good encouragers to keep on the path.  Those who do not support my sobriety are not in my inner circle or life, for that matter!  It is important for me to be careful of who I surround myself with in life.  The saying is true –  "you are who you surround yourself with." In time, it can becomes easier to just be "comfortable" and mask those deep hurts or issues one doesn't want to acknowledge.  It's called complacency – being lukewarm.

I am so thankful for the Christian-based, 12 step program called "Celebrate Recovery."  I am even more grateful that I spent almost 2 1/2 years in a 12 step program at church where this CR was started – Saddleback Church.  Had my good friend, Minie Garcia Meeker, not invited me to attend a meeting at the time she did, I could potentially still be going down a dark path. Also, my mentors, Alva Copeland and Tonya Stieff spoke the hard truth I needed to hear to protect my life. Lastly and most importantly, I am blessed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the things I am unable to save myself from. He is my constant.

It is not always easy, and there are times when I am in situations where it would just be easier to drink then to deal with the problem. But there is that reminder in my head of where I came from and where I'm going, and it pushes me forward in my faith.  I do not want to relapse and have to start back at Day One.

Today, I celebrate Day 3,652! πŸ˜€πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

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