It took me 20 years to get 11 months of sobriety. Many of you may not understand why I can't drink normally or why I'm breaking my anonymity but it's never really been a secret, and if were going to talk about suffering depression then all must be revealed. Sometimes I'm good but eventually I'm bad when I drink, and this weeks blog isn't about explaining who I was but more to review who I am, to be ok with being vulnerable and exposed. Check out this Ted Talk 'The Power of Vulnerability'
So why am I talking about this now, 11 months isn't a milestone. Well 11 months is an accomplishment and God willing I will celebrate a year of sobriety next month but it's also a danger mark. I don't want to forget where I was, I don't want to give in to those thoughts that say a year break is long enough and I've been doing well, it's ok if I have one drink. And maybe you think oh it's not bad if I get a little tipsy or maybe drunk, I'll recover In a few days. Well let me map out how drinking mixed with depression affected me a little over 11 months ago:
1- My intent is always only to have two glasses of wine with dinner or friends which turns into many many more.
2- The guilt of having more than two drinks and being a failure kicks in.
3- Realizing I can't go home like this and face everyone, so how can I plan to take my life instead because it's not worth living.
4- non stop thoughts that I have been a failure all my life so now I have even more reasons to take my life.
5-let me get drugs so maybe I will overdose.
Now the next step is multiple choice:
A- Go home and cry and ask for help and possibly check into a hospital
B- Attempt to take my life, fail and check myself into a hospital
And it hasn't always been like that, but why play with fire.
The discussion of depression, addiction, low self love and self esteem needs to happen more. The answer from most people is to have more will power and I will feel better or that I'm strong and will get passed this, these words can sometimes keep us in this silence. It helps us stay hidden because those words stick, we think why don't we have enough will to change, or why aren't we strong enough like everyone else. So with no true help or support, life can seem lonely and maybe not for us.
I found help, and then I started helping myself.
Then things changed.
I started doing more in the last 11 months than I have in the last 3-4 years and It all came down to letting go and trusting in my higher power. Now some people might want to take credit for where I am and I want to say thank you to all that helped, but ultimately all credit goes to God and my willingness to surrender to Gods will and not my own.
11 months ago I was suffering from depression and that depression was always instantly made worse by adding alcohol and drugs, but I didn't want to see that. No one could understand what I had to deal with, running a business alone, my bills, taking care of others, chronic pain, courtrooms, the suicide of a friend, etc..
I was the only one other than my friend who took her life that understood what I was going through, what I was feeling. See I'm no stranger to Addictions, depression, suicides and AA, so I knew it wasn't true, I wasn't alone. I knew if I didn't want to feel this way I had to eliminate drugs and alcohol for starters and truly admit I had a problem and surround myself with people that could understand me.
Then I just kept it simple, my only focus was me and my recovery. Eventually I was able to taper off anti depressants, I started sleeping better, I was now in Australia and relaxed. I didn't have to worry about righting all my wrongs at once, that time will come when I'm ready. By March of 2016 I was focused, free, more myself than I have ever been before in my life. I was now surrounded by friends...people I have met randomly while walking, online, meetings and they mean the world to me.
So the list below are 13 things I do or have changed to better me:
- I make my bed everyday and when I don't for a few days thats my sign I may be in a bad place.
- I write a daily gratitude list
- I listen to "hear you" instead of "respond to you"
- I take myself out
- I avoid using negative statements or words as much as possible
- I surround myself with more positive energy souls
- i do service and can always do more (I'm working on that)
- I get up early
- I keep my commitments
- I pick up my phone and return calls
- I LOVE MYSELF
- I BELIEVE IN MYSELF
- AND I TELL MYSELF
Today, I have some of the same problems I had before that would make me want to run.
Today I don't want to run.
Today I have hope, love, faith and steps.
Today, I only have to worry about Today
Today I will do epic shit 😊
Love & Serenity,