The Good Life

Is my life perfect? No, far from it actually. Am I where I’d thought I’d be twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Nope. Do I wish I had done some things differently? You bet. But the bottom line is I’M ALIVE. I’ve managed, despite my best efforts to the contrary, to survive. And be happy. With most of my marbles intact.

Like everyone else on this planet, I’ve done plenty of things that in hindsight were pretty damn stupid. I’ve let countless people down. I haven’t been there to be a daughter, a sister, friend, or someone the average person on the street would even want to know. Some days, I still don’t feel worthy. But there is a benevolent being somewhere that obviously thought otherwise. And for that, I will be forever grateful.

There are so many reasons why I should by all rights, be dead. Having had the alcoholic father that I did (he died of cirrhosis due to excessive drinking in 1996), I could say I was predisposed to something beyond my control. Being born with spina bifida, and all that goes along with that notwithstanding, my own careless actions on numerous occasions could have very easily proved fatal. I was a victim. In my own eyes, anyway. Being an active drunk is exhausting. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. I’ll leave the “and spiritually” out of the discussion because while I was actively pursuing my own destruction, via the bottle, there was no spirit. I was dead in every way but my physical being. And even that wasn’t in the greatest shape nine and three quarter years ago.

Then, by a miracle I still cannot describe fully today, on March 14th, 2003, I had what I hope to be, my last drink. I didn’t even get drunk, like I had on countless occasions beforehand. One drink, and I just knew. That was it. I had to stop, or I would die. I was miserable. Shut down, depressed, sick, and miserable. Not to mention a liar and a thief. If it wasn’t for a man called Bob G. (and yes, he IS a builder), who knows? I would probably be dead. That man, in his little red car, was my guardian angel that day. He sensed something was wrong, and, as God is my witness, as I was swallowing the poison on that Friday morning in March, he pulled in the driveway of my parent’s home. I have no recollections of where I stayed that weekend, but by Monday, I was in rehab.

Thus began a journey that has not been easy. At all. The beginning was flat-out awful. I had deceived so many people in that previous year of absolute hell. No one trusted a word I said or anything I did (and rightly so). Hell, I didn’t even trust myself. The only thing I knew was that drinking was not the answer anymore. I couldn’t escape via the bottle anymore. So now what?

Work. Hard work and lots of it. Continuously. Daily. Meetings, service work, sponsor and sponsorship. And friends. Lots of friends. I’m finally learning to be the daughter, sister, and friend I should have been all along. Life is good. And I am grateful. Beyond words.

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