Sobriety is about so much more than not drinking alcohol.
Since I decided I was ready to slay the Booze Bitch, I have been highly emotional. I have felt ecstatically happy, truly proud of myself, fully trusting the Universe. I once again believe I can make all my dreams come true. I am incredibly energetic, hyper sensitive to what I hear and the way I interpret language, impulsive to a fault sometimes, perhaps more than ever in my life. Very old wounds are rising to be healed, an enormous challenge as I try to not burst with rage when I feel scolded and shamed. I cry a lot, equal amounts happy and sad tears. I laugh hysterically too, fall-on-the-floor laughter. I have more endurance physically, I am nearly tireless from my physical activities – many of which I am doing at double or more the distance than before. Life is brighter, more intense. I am being called to stand taller and become stronger than I thought possible. I am climbing my way, step by step, up the ladder of my spiritual staircase. I have always loved the saying by Mother Teresa “God never gives me more than I can handle, I just wish he didn’t have so much confidence in me!”
Becoming sober during a pandemic is a little crazy. The world is totally topsy turvy, full of negativity and hate, tension, struggle. People are attacking one another for the pettiest things. There is more separation than I have ever witnessed. Folks I thought were friends show me their true colors and I am shocked and appalled. I believe the worst, the scum at the very bottom of the drain of humanity, is rising for healing. I believe we are entering a brand new paradigm. I certainly hope so! Personally, I notice the worst parts of myself exploding to the surface when I feel attacked. I am prickly, ready to defend myself, standing guard and armored with protection. Maybe it is right and good for me to keep my armor on as I navigate my new sober self. Maybe if I can just hang in there during this transformation, I’ll come out the other side with even more joy and strength.
My appreciation for those I love is greater than ever. My beloved canines are at the very end of their lives, 14 and 16 years old. They have been with me the entire duration of their lives. Every time I think about not having my girls around, I feel tears stream down my cheeks. It is almost unthinkable. Life is full of sadness, loss, and grief. Life is full of joy, inspiration, and love. What we choose to believe is what we create in our reality. I have lived this experience throughout my many years. I often recall The Berenstein Bears’ children’s book in which Sister Bear wakes up one morning with turmoil in her heart and mind. She sees everything in her world as scary, dark, ugly, black and white- no color, no life, an armageddon. In her mind, the world is terrifying in every way. Page after page shows scenes of what is considered totally normal daily life: people walking in the park, sitting on park benches, children playing in a playground, cars and traffic, dogs frolicking. Sister saw everything as threatening and frightening. After a discussion with Mama and Papa Bear, Sister learned she had created her own misery, had influenced what she saw by what her mind believed to be true. She was able to share her fears and sadness about what had made her feel so down, and her world was magically transformed. Next scene shows everything filled with beautiful color, joy, activity, engagement, happiness all around. What we believe truly does shape our reality. Let’s be like Michael Franti, spreaders of light and positivity, way showers, light beings.
I will survive and thrive throughout my sober journey inclusive of my roller coaster of emotions. I will keep the lid on the pressure cooker that is me these days. I will focus on all the people in my world that bring me joy. I will love up my customers even more. I will hug my dogs day and night and tell them how much I love them. I will appreciate the sweet moments more than ever. Because this life right here, this life, is a very, very good life!