Kindness. Is. Magic.
It has been 12 years since I have had a drink. That’s right -no booze for me for 12 years. In 2006, I quit drinking because it seemed to be the likely culprit of my depression, my bad decision making, and my loss of zest for life. My ego was running my world. I was trying so hard to be something and someone that I was not.
I would drink to feel better and then feel gross afterwards. I would drink to have fun and relax - shortly after, regretting the things I had done and said. I knew in my gut that it was time to make some pretty significant changes if I wanted a different life and I knew that’s what I wanted: a different life.
Let me back track just a bit. I grew up in an alcoholic home. My daddio was in and out of rehab and often times we would find him passed out somewhere in or around the house. I was the kid that got picked up from gymnastics by her drunk father. Don’t get me wrong- I loved him fiercely. My little 8 year old brain always wondered why he wouldn’t just quit drinking. Mom always explained to me that he was “sick”. He had a “disease”. But time and time again, I would lay beside him in the mornings begging him to stop drinking. Please, Dad, pleassssse stop. He would stop, but never for long.
Alcohol finally killed him. Literally.
So, from a young age, I had a solid idea of what alcoholism was. I knew it killed people, and I knew that I had it.
After many years of drinking, passing out, making bad decisions and so. much. puke. I decided it was time time to break the cycle that had plagued my family for decades. (if you are unsure how family blood plays into alcoholism, this will give you a bit more info.)
When I started to tell the people closest to me what was happening, there were mixed emotions. My drinking/partying friends and colleagues would say “oh, come on! You are NOT and alcoholic, are you sure?…maybe you just like to have fun!!” Or my favourite was always “just have a sip….it won’t hurt you.”
I understood right from the get go that my quitting drinking would be hard for some people because it meant that I was changing. I was moving in a completely different direction and that would mean change for them too. Change can be scary.
My supportive friends would say “good for you D, you can do this. Go to rehab and get clean”. “The Universe has great things in store for you.”
Daily, I didn’t have a “sip” and I also didn’t let anyone convince me that I was not an alcoholic. I solidly followed my plan to live a sober life.
It’s been hard work but so,so worth it. Years of Therapy, AA, Meditation, Group counselling, rehab….the list goes on and on. I still work at it daily.
I often reflect back on the many times I tried to quit drinking and the final moment that I made the life changing decision to cut out alcohol from my life. I did not do it alone. I think I had help from my deceased dad whispering in my ear that I deserved more. I think it was the fact that my mother consistently told me stories of alcoholics (mostly in our family) and that released me from the shame that surrounds it. Shame is a sucker when it comes to addiction.
For years I was a hard person. I didn’t like myself and I really didn’t like a lot of people. I was full of judgement and anger and hurt. I was not kind. Now, I am thankful that being sober has allowed the fog to be lifted- I can see the real me and my real life. I see beauty in you and all that surrounds you. I feel real feelings and actually cope with the crap and the good that comes with this wild ride we call life.
My question to you is this: Are you masking your real feelings somehow? are you escaping your reality by using (could be anything from food to your smart phone to cocaine…)?? or do you feel and deal? Are you gentle and kind with yourself? or judgemental and harsh? What words do you use when you speak to yourself???
Kindness Is Magic.
Yes, I am kind to you.
Yes, I am also kind to strangers.
But most importantly I am kind to me.
With loads of love,