There are many things we celebrate in our lifetime. One of the most important celebrations I hold close to my heart, is my clean date anniversary. There were years I hesitated and did not want to make a big fuss but this is very important not only to the addict celebrating but to the newcomer that feels hopeless. Our families also feel good watching us celebrate knowing we are living differently today. There is merit to the fact that regardless of the challenges we face, we stay clean and do not pick up no matter what!
I remember like it was yesterday having the idea in my mind that I could and would never be able to stop the lifestyle of an addict. How could I actually stop using? How can I find strength or have courage in myself to stop? Self-esteem and self-worth were no words of importance to me. Showing up at a job was optional and being there for others was out of the question. There was a frequent prayer I would say to God at night asking him NOT to wake me up in the morning because I can’t do this one more day. This was followed by the angry prayer in the morning that I was still alive. Looking back, I know I was alive but definitely not living. Until the one day the prayer altered some, “God I need your help because I can’t do this anymore.” That was the first moment of surrender for me and an inkling of willingness to try something new.
Last week marked my 9th year of clean and sober and it still overwhelms me how strong I truly am. I am not the weak person I once convinced myself I was. The tears of joy that come to my eyes when realizing how much I have endured along this journey, but I’m still here and stay sober on a daily basis. Every year on my clean date, I am reminded how blessed I am to have this amazing life of recovery. This day also continues to be a reflection of the intense pain I no longer feel and the pain I no longer intentionally cause loved ones. It’s a joy to know I no longer do that and am a woman of recovery! Therefore, today I will celebrate the gratitude I have for this miracle. I am proud of myself, but could not have done this alone.