“I am the miracle.” – Buddha
On March 23rd I celebrated 14 years free from alcohol and drugs. Each year when this landmark date passes I take the time to consider the journey. And it has been a journey. I wish I could say that all I had to do was put the substances down and get on with life. That was not the case for me.
There has been a lot of work to do over the past 14 years and for the most part I have been up to the task. What really struck me when I took the time to think about this 14th year was just how big my God truly is. I hold God entirely responsible for my sobriety. I know that I would not be sober without this Power. But to be perfectly honest putting the booze down was not the hardest part for me; living without it has been the hardest part. When I got sober it was never my intention to become a better person, a person of faith or even happy and successful. I just wanted to quit drinking! But in my efforts to stay sober what I have gotten in return is the opportunity to overcome all of my demons. Not just substance abuse but anger, fear, guilt, selfishness, dishonesty, and every other human failing you can think of.
I look back and I can honestly say that I have embraced that opportunity. I have faced my demons as squarely as possible and with all the courage I could muster. However, some very deep things have continued to linger on. In another post: Intersections I describe in detail one of those things. And in yet another: Found Here I also describe another of those long struggles. What I realized is that this year… BOTH of those things have FINALLY been relieved!!
I wish I could express to you how many times I have just wanted to throw in the towel. I have thought on so many occasions “I will NEVER really get over this. I will NEVER be truly free of it.” I have had many professionals and laymen fully support that notion. I have been told “No, you probably never will be 100% free from this hurt.” And yet, here I am. Totally free. And not just free… GRATEFUL!! Grateful for the opportunity that all of my life experiences have given me.
This year I have experienced levels of forgiveness and peace that I have never thought possible. I have had deep realizations of Wholeness which have completely shifted the way I see myself and the world. My understanding of God’s universe and my place in it has been revolutionized. Again! I continue to be in awe of how spiritual progress is always at hand; it is never done so long as I continue to work for it. The miracles never seem to stop coming. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve this ridiculously blessed life.
I am not a rich person. I don’t have an “easy” life. I struggle with life on life’s terms just as much as anyone: I get short on cash, my kids get sick, my car breaks down. But what I do have is FREEDOM. Despite everything that has been done to me and everything that I have done to others, each night I get to lay my head on my pillow with peace of mind and a quiet heart. I get to look my children right in the eye and when I look in the mirror I can look myself in the eye. My heart is filled with love and all I ever want to do these days is help others and bring love as much as I can to the people around me.
I have no idea when this angry, hateful girl consumed with selfishness turned into the woman I have just described but I know it has happened. Others have told me that they see it too. We have a saying in our fellowship: Don’t leave five minutes before the miracle happens! I have thought many, many times “It’s never going to happen for me. I’m just too damaged.” I’m so grateful that I never gave into that thought. I have been healed. I have been restored to the knowledge of Wholeness that was my Reality all along.
If you are struggling with your own demons I hope my story can give you hope. Never give up on yourself. Keep the faith! Hold the line! Miracles happen. Every. Single. Day. They have happened for me. DON’T LEAVE BEFORE THE MIRACLE HAPPENS FOR YOU!!!