Today is just one more sober Easter Day for me. Take away the “Easter” and you’ve really got – just another sober day. I am honored to receive the gift to remember on this day that first and foremost I am still sober today. I am feeling incredibly connected today. I am comfortable today. I am proud of myself today. Now the interesting part is that it took me the majority of the day to realize where all of this goodness is coming from that settled in all warm and cozy in my heart. First, let me be honest and say that I have not been up to writing for a while because I’ve been kinda blue for a few days. Yup – I’ve been singing the blues thank you very much. I am not afraid to say it out loud too. Then – poof – even though unemployment has been a humbling experience, today I am seeing clearly again. The Easter Basket is half full! Not half empty. Ok, I’ll spill the jelly beans and I’ll share what I’ve discovered today. What I have been blessed to remember today. Today’s goodness actually started last night when I decided I was ready to read through some more old journals again. Usually I get kinda fearful because looking back at my past this way is like pulling the old rusty nails out of my coffin. I mean, who the heck wants to do such a thing?! But that person no longer defines who I am. So, I came across my oldest journal. It was quite worn out and on the front of it in faded ink it said, “1986”. My heart literally skipped a beat and then sank. Oh god. Do I dare? My old journals have been my touchstone to the writing of my book about my experience as a long time single sober mom. In 1986 my son was only one year old. In 1986 I was still having a few drinkeys. A little of the bubbly. A couple of brewskys here and there. Some blush wine. A small shot of tequilla for a little pick-me-up. I’m sure you get the picture. And I justified all of this because my son was asleep or with a baby sitter. Oh, and one more small thing – I had just left my husband. So, last night, I sat down cross-legged on my bedroom floor, took a big ol’ breath and opened the squeaky and dusty door to my own 1986. I read and read and read and read. It was amazing. It was a little odd as well. Now you see, before I read all of “1986”, the way I remembered that time in my sad and screwed up confusing little life was that I was broke, insecure, lost, sad, unattractive, chubby, angry, struggling and an exhausted girl who had nothing to wear, no money to go anywhere any way and was trying to take care of a baby. So out of touch, I was heavily covered with the dark cloak of the victim. I was such the victim back then. Geeze, I am cringing just saying that again. However, last night, to my surprise I found myself in a “flash forward”. That actually the girl in the journal was reading about me, the grown up me in 2011. The girl was so proud and surprised of who she saw in her flash forward, so pleased to see she ended up staying sober every single day, was always a loving mother even in the most difficult challenging days, even when she didn’t own a car, confronting bullies and heartless self-centered people. The girl in the journal was dumbfounded that she saw a loving, wise, attractive (sometimes funny) woman who had learned to surround herself with loving supportive people. She also was quieted to see she had healed her relationship with her mother. But it was because the girl in the 1986 journal knew all about wrong choices, betrayal, heartbreak, drunkenness and shame. It was because she first lived through all of this and slowly learned painful lesson after painful lesson, kept seeking for a better life, learned how to have fun again and began to hold her head high – because of all of this and much more – she saw that the woman in 2011 raised a fine young man, never drank again and learned her lessons well and put her son’s needs before her own. Because of the sadness that was experienced and remembered she saw that the grown woman appreciates the power of a simple life and knows the journey to forgiveness. Because peace, love, simplicity, loyalty and feeling good about one’s self and staying sober – is the greatest accomplishment and gift of all. To remember that this is what true success is.
And as I finally settle into my present day authenticity, I find myself completely comfortable when alone, quiet and still – making serenity my ultimate high. Because I can remember my sadness before I quit drinking, I can be happily overwhelmed in the quietness of great joy and comfort.