Transformed

9:48 PM Edit This 19 Comments »
For those of you who might have thought I was done with therapy, I'm not. I'm done with the journals. We're still working on getting to every other week therapy. At this point, it's just a security blanket that I'm not willing to give up. I'm happy today. And I'm afraid that changing anything will throw me into a spiral of despair. I know I'll eventually get over that, but for now, I'm hanging onto my routine. So far, it's served me quite well in recovery. I'm loathe to give up what works. Someday I will, but not today.

What I really noticed in reading through those ick things, is that I do not resemble that woman at all anymore. Not one bit. Those recurring thoughts that got put on paper are not at all like the ones I have today. How is it that I get a second chance at this thing called life? Seriously. I was a goner. I wished for death on a daily basis and never got it. So I had to figure out how to live. And that's been the gift of a lifetime.

I was leading a meeting at the women's sober house today and they look at me like I'm some sort of goddess. Like I've got life down pat. I don't. I struggle on a daily basis to keep doing the things I know that keep me happy and sane. Some days it's easy and other days it's not. I don't like being looked up to. I don't like seeming an "expert" on anything because in fact, I am not. I am an alcoholic who chooses recovery today. And only for today. And that did not come easily. It only came because there were no other options. I apparently was not going to die, so I had to figure out how to live and not hate it.

Lucky for me, I got that opportunity. Some people don't. My therapist asked me once how I felt about receiving the gift of sobriety. I feel guilty. There are so many people that deserve a better life, and who am I to have received it? But I did. And because I did, I have to embrace it or I turn into the ungrateful, selfish, self-pitying bitch that I used to be.

It's so hard to describe to people who didn't know me when I was still drinking, what I was like because I am so far from that woman today. And it's not really necessary for those people to know or understand, it's just that I so badly want them to know how desperate it was. How sick and deluded and sad. And because of that, how important it is that I do the things I do today to stay on board with life. I really do like myself today. And that's something I never, ever thought I'd say and believe. But I do say it and believe it today. And if that means that I have to go to meetings, and if that means I have to do things like lead meetings at the women's sober house when I'd rather be at home in my pajamas, then I'll gladly do that. I don't ever want to be that woman again. And I don't have to be.

I tried writing in my new journal, but I like this one much, much better. And maybe only because I think I have something to offer to you. Hope and discovery. Whatever is wrong in your life today needn't own you. Let it go and it will transform you. I believe that with my heart and soul. So much, I do.

19 comments:

Mamie said...

"Whatever is wrong in your life today needn't own you. Let it go and it will transform you."

I SO need to hear that - right now, tonight, this very minute, like you would not believe.

Thank you.

Kai said...

From one who is still trying to discover what works, thank you so much for this.

MsDarkstar said...

To steal (and slightly mangle) a great Jack Nicholson line "You make me want to be a better woman".

Keep doing what you do. I'd be willing to bet it makes more difference than you'll ever know.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

You know, Kate, reading this post took me back to a time in my life when I was exactly where you are now. I had been to the very bottom of the deepest depths of despair, wished for death, and when it didn't come, I had to learn how to live again and make it bearable somehow. And that meant letting go. It meant learning to like myself. It meant learning to trust myself. It meant learning to trust other people. It meant completely rebuilding myself, from the ground up, into the person I wanted to be, into the person I knew I could be. That was hard. Really, really hard.

But somewhere along the way, I discovered that the person I became is me. The real me. That other guy who was there before, the self-destructive alcoholic? He wasn't me. He was somebody who was crippled by fear and weakness and hopelessness. He wasn't me. I am better than that. I am who I am, and I like who I am.

I have spoken to groups of alcoholics who are just starting recovery, and I've told them my recovery story. And like you said, they look at me like I'm some sort of god, like I've done something that they couldn't possibly do, like I've got it all figured out. And I tell them that I don't have it all figured out. I tell them that I don't have all the answers, that I don't know why I was able to recover when so many others can't. I tell them that I know what worked for me, and that's all I know. And I give them hope that they can find their own answers, find what works for them. That's all I can do. Do I feel guilty for surviving? No. I feel guilty for all the things I did when I was drinking, sure, but not for surviving. That was for me. I was given a second chance, and I took it. And I'm okay with that.

Good post. Thanks for giving me a chance to think about stuff I haven't thought about in a long time.

Jeff

*Akilah Sakai* said...

"I tried writing in my new journal, but I like this one much, much better. And maybe only because I think I have something to offer to you. Hope and discovery. Whatever is wrong in your life today needn't own you. Let it go and it will transform you. I believe that with my heart and soul. So much, I do."Beautiful words. Powerful words.

Definitely one of my favorite blog posts. Though I am not one in recovery, those words still move me.

Kristen said...

One thing I've learned is that if you're feeling like what you've got going on is working, for the love of God don't change anything.

Summer said...

Whatever is wrong in your life today needn't own you. Let it go and it will transform you.

I really like that. You're a very wise lady.

justjp said...

I feel you on this. I am the guy people look up to, which really scares me. Seriously, you are looking to me as a model?

BrianAlt said...

I do not think anyone thought you were, "done with therapy." Why should you be "done"?

Of course you deserve everything you have. You're here to now help others get what they deserve too. It's okay that you don't enjoy the role, but it's better, amazing, that you do it anyway.

Here's to you!

Dingo said...

There are so many people that deserve a better life, and who am I to have received it?You didn't receive it as some gift handed to you on a silver platter. You work your ass off for it. You make decisions every day that enable you to have a better life.

melissalion said...

I liked this. Thank you!

buffalodick said...

Teach what you have learned, learn what you don't know- and the world will be a better place...

Sparkling Red said...

These days I'm working on thanking God for my troubles, because I know He'll use them to make me a better person. And odd as that sounds, it really helps. Sounds very much like where your head is at.

Bob said...

There are so many people that deserve a better life, and who am I to have received it?you receiving a better life did not take away someone else's better life - so in that sense there's no reason to feel guilty. You didn't take anything from anyone.

I so wish my brother-in-law could read this. he's killing himself with alcohol and doesn't want to stop. reading your story gives me a bit of hope that he could figure out how to do you were able to.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

You are an inspiration. You might not feel that you are a great role model. But, you know what, you are. There are so many people out there who just want to live a normal life without alcohol (or other vices, for that matter). You've found a way to make it work. And for that, you're an inspiration.

Sweetly Single said...

All I can say my dear is, you never cease to amaze me

JoLee said...

"And maybe only because I think I have something to offer to you. Hope and discovery."

babe, if only you knew.

E said...

Boy I couldn't disagree more with your therapist. You did not receive a "gift of sobriety". You chose it. You took it. You grabbed it, maybe. But it was not a gift. How can you feel guilty for having created something that you did with your work your will all by yourself.
Now i know there were people who helped you along the way. I get that. But honey, you chose them too. And the therapist, you chose and PAID her! This thing is yours. You made it; you won it. It is not a passive reception of a gift.
I think women especially have to tread carefully at the doors of gratitude and f rtune. I think too often we do not claim our power and so it never truly becomes ours to own.
You are a powerful woman who made hard choices and did the heavy lifting to achieve a goal. ....okay I'll climb down off this soapbox now....

Jen said...

I can't even begin to imagine getting over and through something like this. You are one brave woman and a true inspiration to all. Go you! : )