I left my apartment for my AA home group this morning, shaking.
My hands clung to the steering wheel. And, for a few moments, I thought the car would spin out of control on its on accord.
This feeling. This incredible and impossible feeling. This sense of sheer hope and accomplishment. It has no description.
I have been sober for a year. One year ago, I started this journey, a woman in tatters. Filled with pain, anger, uncertainly, and fear. I had the best intentions, but set out with skepticism. I had hopes for myself, but no hope with which to realize my dreams. I had plans for myself, but no means to carry them out. I had love in my life, but no ability to see or appreciate it.
Today, I sat in my home group, chairing a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, my meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I heard my fellowship of friends, my battle buddies, say things about me that were so kind, so loving, that to think of myself a year ago, a stranger to all these people, feels almost inhumane. My heart burst.
I am changed.
In ways unthinkable a year ago, and still astounding today, I know who I am. And today, all the mysteries that lay before me seem like miracles, not obstacles.
Today, I have so many things, tangible and intangible, that I did not have a year ago. I have a job I never thought I’d have, and, I’m not fighting tooth and nail to escape. I have, Lars, my boyfriend, with whom I have seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows. And even in my most fearful moments, I stayed with him, because, I’ve learned that not knowing what to do next means you probably shouldn’t do anything just yet. And staying, sticking out the moments I thought I couldn’t handle, I have discovered that I’ve built a love so strong, that I had to redefine love.
Today Lars said things to me in his share in the meeting that opened my heart in ways it could never have opened before. He let me in, in front of a room full of people. And, in doing so, I became able to walk through a door to his heart that I hadn’t even known to be there. And that, that, is sobriety. The world changes before your eyes.
Things are not always as they appear. If you’re new to sobriety, the best advice I can give you is to wait.
Just wait. If you wait, something, and everything, will change.
Change is who we are. A constant flux of growth and decay. And, if you focus your energies on what lies ahead and not on the road you’ve left behind, I think you’ll find everything that falls away, no matter how painful it is in the moment, allows us to become more brilliant than we ever could have imagined. God has arrived. And, for a whole year, I have been the recipient of grace far beyond my deserving or expectation.
My parents came to Portland from NYC to be here for my 1 year anniversary. And, to see their pride, their love, and their acceptance of me and the woman I’m still becoming, made me appreciate all the things they have done for me even more. This infinite gratitude for my life just gets bigger and bigger.
I want to thank you. My loyal readers. I know there are just a few of you, but, writing this blog has helped me to remain present and conscious this year more than you can possibly know. You have given me a voice, even if it is a small one. I know that many of you are sober yourselves, or are trying to get sober, or have loved ones that are on this sobering journey. And, I must say, above all, it is the support I’ve received this year, from so many places, that has kept me afloat. You are a part of that. Thank you.
Now that I’ve done this thing, sobriety, for a whole year, I truly believe I can take anything on. There is so much more.
And, it’s possible.
Anything is possible, if you just give yourself a chance.