Today I turn 19 years clean and sober.
My recovery birthday always makes me reflect back on my life: where I have come from, how far I have gone, and where I am headed (ok, so you can't "reflect back" on where you are headed, but stay with me here, people)
The last time I turned 19 I was careening towards an alcohol and drug induced grave and was stomping on the accelerator.
Nineteen years ago on this day I was awakening from my last ever overdose. It was Easter morning. How is THAT for irony?
Nineteen years ago, I was a college drop out, homeless, jobless, skilless, and overall clueless as to how to do life without being fucked up beyond all reason.
Nineteen years ago, to cure the aforementioned homelessness, I moved in with my boyfriend of 2 months, who had just witnessed my catastrophic self destruction and who was now terrified of my bat shit crazy ass. All of his clean and sober friends told him to RUN LIKE HELL, but he, in his own bat shit craziness, let me stay.
In the last nineteen years, I have managed to not scare off this man and we have been married 10 years.
In the last nineteen years, I went back to college, earned my bachelors degree, passed state boards for veterinary nursing, earned 2 masters degrees, and a teaching credential.
In the last nineteen years I also learned a whole lot of things that I would have never known had I stayed numb:
I learned how to be a daughter, a friend, a wife, and a productive member of society. I fall short at all of these titles routinely, but I keep striving to be as good to the people in my life as they are to me. This is a tall order. I have seriously kick ass friends and family.
I have learned I can do more than work and study. I can take time for me and it did not turn me back into the lazy, worthless piece of shit of my disease, like my mind always told me it would.
I learned I was NOT a lazy, worthless piece of shit and, more importantly, how to stop calling myself one.
I learned that I do not have to be good at something to enjoy doing it. This freedom, allowed me to become an athlete (ok, athlete-ish). Five years, nine marathons, 5 century rides, and 11 or so triathlons later I am still enjoying it.
I learned that having opinions does not make me a bitch, but not letting others have theirs does.
I learned that I can love people so much that it feels like my heart will burst in my chest at the very thought of them.
Not one of these things was possible for me had I continued the unending quest to numb myself. I am so grateful to be clean and sober today.
I am working on a hubby update. He is doing well on the hormone therapy. I will post about it soon. Thank you for all of your support and keeping him in your thoughts. :)
21 hours ago