Cake, God and 18 Months Sober

18 Months

I had every intention of writing this post yesterday (which was my 18 month sobriety birthday), but it was a LONG day and after a dinner out with Tyler and a piece of my favorite cake, I was out like a light!

18 months. 18 freakin’ months without a single drink. Wow. In many ways it seems like yesterday and in others it seems like an eternity since I took that last sip of beer at our local Applebee’s. I had already had one relapse and despite the anguish and hurt it had caused me and my family, I still wasn’t ready to surrender. It was a hot summer day in August and I had just picked the kids up from going to the state fair with my in laws. There was tons of traffic and it was getting close to dinner time, so I decided to take a detour and get an early dinner at a nearby Applebee’s. I knew before I stepped in the door, that I was going to have a drink. Just one. No one would know. My kids were still too young to realize what was going on. It’s just a beer. So, as we ordered dinner I quickly looked around me (to see if there was anyone I knew) and ordered a Blue Moon beer. Perfect for a hot day. Our waitress returned with my beer and I looked around again before taking a big gulp.

As I took another sip and looked around, I felt embarrassed and guilty. As I sat there with my 3-year-old little boy and 5-year-old little girl, I suddenly wondered what the hell I was doing. Was it worth it? The shame, guilt and embarrassment? The lies? And, that was it. Right then and there with a beer at an Applebee’s, I decided I was done. It was the most uneventful drinking experience I had ever had, but I knew it was over. That part of my life was over and I was finally – FINALLY – ready to move on.

I drive by that Applebee’s multiple times throughout the week and it always sits there as a reminder of that day and that life-altering decision. That day, without fully knowing it at the time, I turned it all over to God. Without fully knowing or understanding, and without the exact words, I mentally said, “I can’t do this anymore. I need help.” I was tired of fighting; tired of hiding; I was just plain tired. And, I knew that I couldn’t do it by myself anymore. And, in my desperation and exhaustion, I decided the only thing I had left was God. I had been hiding from Him and pushing Him away for so long; I honestly didn’t know if He would still be there. But, He was. He was just waiting; patiently waiting for me to say, “Okay, God. I give up. If you’re so great, show me what you can do with this mess I’ve created.” And, yes, I gave Him a little attitude because, to be honest, I was still skeptical.

As I sit here today, there is no doubt that He was there; listening to that broken, stubborn and frightened woman. He took that mess and turned it into a walking, talking miracle. And, yes, I consider where I am, who I am and what I am a true miracle. I don’t pretend to know who God is, what God is and where God is. But, I know for me He is more real than anything in this entire world. He is the only reason I am who I am today and I will forever praise His name without shame, embarrassment or fear of what others might think. I lived in fear and embarrassment for a long time; afraid of what others thought about me. But, no more. I stand strong and proud of the woman I am today. I have done many things in my life that I’m ashamed of, but those things don’t define me. I am defined by who I choose to be today.

Today, I am so grateful for this journey. I am grateful for that moment in Applebee’s; for my sweet, beautiful children who sit next to me as I write this; for my husband who looks at me now with more love and admiration than ever before; for my family and friends who have loved me and shown me the true meaning of forgiveness and grace; for those who have guided me down the path of sobriety; for the humility I have experienced along the way; and thank God for the Old Fashioned cake at Gerry Frank’s Konditorei for getting me through those first few months of sobriety when all I wanted was chocolate cake!

Today is a good day. A very good day to be alive and sober.

Six Months Sober – Round Two

Stronger

I found this photo fitting since I just got a new VW. I’m sure one day, years from now, it might look like this too. Old, tattered, but well-loved. Kind of like me, however, I wouldn’t consider myself THAT old – yet!

Today, I will attend a women’s meeting and get my six month coin – for the second time. How do I feel? I’m happy, I’m content, I’m not perfect, but I’m trying to be the very best version of myself that I can be and that God intended me to be.

The difference this time around, I’m not angry anymore. I’m not angry that I have the disease of alcoholism. The obsession to drink has been lifted and for that I am truly grateful. Once I was able to let go and surrender to God, I felt free. Free from the anger, the cravings, the guilt. I got to the point of acceptance. I accept the “broken road” that God has led me down. At first, I tried to fight it. God knows, I tried with all I had to fight the truth.

But, the truth is, once I stopped fighting, I was finally able to start living. I love my life today. I still struggle, but I now have the strength and courage to get through things without drinking. Drinking is not my crutch anymore; I have to face things head on. It’s not easy sometimes, but it feels so good – to feel. I feel hurt, anger, sadness, but I also feel an immense amount of joy, happiness, peace and contentment.

Sobriety has given me the opportunity to live, to try new things, to write again. I have so many desires and wishes for my sober life. It’s exciting and sometimes it’s overwhelming because the possibilities are endless.

I have to stop, quiet my thoughts and ask God what direction I should take. I trust in His path for me. I don’t have a plan anymore and that’s okay. With each day, He’s guiding me and revealing to me where to go and what to do.

Today, I am grateful to be alive so I can share my experience, strength and hope with you.

TheBetterMom.com