Today is my 8th birthday. Oh, sure, I don’t look a day over 6, but trust me on this one. It has been 8 years today that I gathered up every ounce of courage I had and checked into a detox/rehab facility. I had hit rock bottom and knew it was literally do or die time. I wasn’t ready to die.
Eight years clean. Eight years without using drugs to get through a day. Eight years of trying to live life on life’s terms and not my own. Eight years of not giving other people the power to send me right back into a place of using and losing. Eight years of giving my children a drug free mom.
Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t like I hit a perfect number of years and all is well. The urge or knee jerk reaction to find a fix when I am really hurting still pops up. When someone I trust kicks my feet out from under me, I want to use to make myself feel good. I mean, really, who wants to feel anything but good? But life is not all about the good stuff. And as an addict, I have to figure out how to make life work when I am hurting, angry, lonely and sick and tired of life on life’s terms.
Yesterday was hell. My body knew I was jonesing for something but my brain didn’t know why. I would love to say I woke up this morning to birds chirping as I danced my merry way around the house singing as I did my chores. Not even close. I woke up and dreaded facing the day. Any day. I wanted to stay tucked under my covers and be as far away from people as I could be. It didn’t help that once I dropped off the kids it began to rain and become very cold. A perfect day to snuggle up and hermit myself.
But like any good addict, I knew where I needed to be. So, I forced myself to get dressed and get out. Even though it was raining and sleeting and they were calling for more snow and ice, I still made myself go. Where? Where every addict and/or alcoholic should go when they have a day like I had yesterday. And when they need to have a day like I wanted to have today.
I went where I belonged. To a room full of addicts. They applauded my 8 years. Understood my angst. And supported me when I cried for reasons I didn’t understand. When I walked out of that room, I felt better. I was better for having been in that room with a bunch of drunks and druggies. They keep me sane. And clean. For 8 years.
And now? Now I want to celebrate.
EIGHT YEARS, people!
Celebrate with me! What accomplishments are you proud of that you want to share. Toot your own horn here, people. I want to share my celebration with you. Because? I worked damn hard to get here!