I made it! Day 365. One full year. My Sober Anniversary.
One year ago, I woke up unaware if I could get through a day without my trusty ritual of numbing out with white wine. I was exhausted from carrying the appendages of shame and regret, but had little faith that I could do anything differently.
But Day One turned into a week, which turned into two, and then a month, then the holidays, then spring, and now I have almost endured an entire summer sans rosé; someone throw me a party!
But I’m sure you've heard that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. See, I planned for today. I was supposed to be on vacation with my family in Virginia Beach, with a daylong appointment at an organic spa, treating myself to a day of rest and relaxation. There were to be pink Himalayan sea salts, loose leaf tea concoctions, and hot tubs in which to melt my worries away.
Instead I am working from home, still damp from the downpour I got caught in while walking my dog, wondering how it is August 13 and I haven’t yet escaped this city save for a few days in New Jersey, which don’t let my Instagram fool you, DOES. NOT. COUNT.
I did have a party: a pity party. I coveted every single one of my friends' lives who seem to be gallivanting through summer from one lust-worthy location to another. I boo hoo’d my fate and how I am trapped working full time in a city with air so thick it’s hard to breathe. I lamented my talent or lack thereof and resigned myself to a life of mediocrity and disappointment for discarded dreams and missed expectations. I raged against the private struggles I face that are too delicate to share but too real to ignore. I allowed them to convince me I am alone.
It sounds like a long party but that all happened in about 89 seconds give or take.
My plans for this noteworthy August 13, 2018, were to include:
A splashy Instagram Post celebrating ME!
A day to indulge MYSELF!
God’s plan all along must have been for me to be quiet in this empty house save for one wet dog, with just enough space and bandwidth to reflect deeply on the gift of sobriety He has given me.
In my early days of not drinking, I was very quick to accept credit for my new lifestyle. I even started offering advice and mocktail recipes three months in! (I stand by all of it.) I look back and am astounded by my lack of humility. My ignorance of the Daily Grace, but am also very gracious to that version of me who was just putting one foot in front of the other the best way she knew how.
I’m of the Oprah “Live Out Loud” generation, you’ll have to excuse my assumption that people care about any of this.
Yesterday I got a pretty significant nudge. Pro Tip: If you want God to speak louder, give something up that you love. Seriously, there are moments now when the Still Small Voice can now drown out my own incessant monkey brain chatter, and oh, what a relief it is. The Voice told me I needed to reach out to a very specific group of people and learn their stories and love them. I don’t know how to do that or where to start, but I know this was a mandate and will become more clear as time goes on.
The private struggle I referred to earlier has opened a piece of my heart that had been at risk of shutting down. It has also reminded me, not so gently, that I have a very limited air supply and I need an oxygen mask from the Ultimate Supplier.
I can think of no better gift on this day.
*Lest you worry about me missing out on my family vacation, I am going to book a special treatment right here in the city because contrary – or perhaps perfectly congruent with – my earlier statements about self-indulgence, I do feel worthy of honoring this day that I have achieved only by the Grace of God. #SpaDay :)