Overcome with Gratitude

Writing about my journey so far has been incredibly therapeutic for me. The crippling weight of the armor I have built up over the years has become lighter with every entry. I have begun to accept my feelings instead of burring them. It has been very safe, private, protected….until today.

I didn’t quite prepare myself for the level of fear and anxiety making this public would bring me. I have been walking around in a haze of paranoia from the moment I posted it, doing things on autopilot, not being able to focus. My mind was full of worst case scenario stories. Would people treat me different? Would my work question their choice of keeping such a mess around? Would my friends be upset with me for being so misleading for so many years? Every time I got a message, or notification, or call my heart would immediately jump to my throat and I would expect the worst.

My fears and assumptions could not have been further than the reality I experienced today. Every message, call, comment and text was nothing short of amazing. So much love, support, encouragement, strength, kindness, and genuine concern was sent my way. There were also so many that could relate to my story. This makes my heart ache for anyone out there that knows how this feels, but at the same time, it makes me feel hopeful that now they know, they are not alone. It’s scary as hell letting it be known, but it is also very liberating.

Words like grateful, thankful, blessed, honored, don’t even come close to how I feel. Thank you, every single person, for every bit of energy you sent my way. It has been fully felt and appreciated, I promise you!! I will take this energy I have been so generously given, turn around, and send it right back out there. To those who sent it, and to those out there who need it. To all those suffering in silence, my hope is that you feel this energy. That it will give you a little bit of peace and a little boost of strength. Addiction, depression, anxiety. None of these are things to be ashamed of. These are things that I am finding, are more common than I have ever thought. It’s a sad, but comforting realization. Nobody needs to suffer through these on their own. It is my hope that everyone who needs help, finds it.

At group tonight I shared the fact that I had made this public. Words like courageous and brave have been thrown out quite a bit today, but I have a really hard time seeing myself as either of those. At this point, sharing all of this is more of a survival tactic for me. I need people to know what’s happening in hopes that it helps someone, anyone, and in hopes that it creates more accountability. It’s going to be a lot harder to carry out one of the thousands of ‘get away with a drink or seven’ plans I have concocted in my mind. We did discuss as a group how different you start feeling the more and more honest you are with others, and more importantly, with yourself. We discussed how much easier it is to go about the days without planning out when the next drink would be. To be able to put that focus and energy into something more rewarding. It’s amazing how much better I am feeling, aside from the anxiety pukes I had last night and today, but that is pretty normal for me, sober or not. There is still a lot of pain and my anxiety is obviously still rearing it’s ugly head, but I am dealing with it.

We also touched tonight on transitioning into the real world when you graduate the program. A solid point was made by our therapist. We are only there for two and a half hours, four nights a week. The rest of our sober time has been all us. We have stayed sober. We know how to be sober, we have been building those habits. This thought was eye-opening to me. I have been sober for 21 1/2 hours every day. That’s something to be proud of and it’s something I will need to remember when I graduate.

I am so incredibly grateful to each and every one of you! Thank you for your kind encouragement, your genuine friendship and love and your understanding. If one person gets something helpful out of this, that is all I would hope for. I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude.

Good night world!

3 responses to “Overcome with Gratitude”

  1. Jen, I spent my evening reading through this blog and my heart is flipping and flopping. We all deal with our life struggles and rarely do we let anyone in on them. What you are doing is nothing short of heroic. No wonder your boy stated you are his hero. I’ve always admired the strong woman you are. And I’ve always simply liked you. You are a likable person. It is pretty exciting that you are finally figuring that out for yourself.

  2. Well, I can tell you that you have already helped one person, just by sharing! I am truly proud of your courage to make this step. I have always had a journal, and know how therapeutic it can be (despite how much I’m not really sure I want anyone to actually see what I have written). We are who we are, and despite all our trials, we are good people who have good intentions. We may not have always succeeded with those intentions; but, every day is a new day to try again! Keep on keeping on my friend!

  3. Jen,
    You got this. There will be harder moments than others, but keep sticking with it and keep going to meetings.
    I still go to Al-Anon meetings every now and then, even though it’s been years since I’ve had an addict or alcoholic taking a staying role in my life. Somehow the anonymous kinsmen in those meetings feel immediately like one of your tribes.
    Keep going back. It works if you work it!
    And we’ll all be here cheering you on in those days if/when you feel like you’re failing. Perfection is not a prerequisite in recovery.

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