Still Standing

It’s tough when friends in recovery go back to their addictions. Sometimes it feels personal, although I know it has nothing to do with me. Other times, I feel helpless – hopeless even. It’s not easy seeing people you care about choose to walk an unhealthy path, sometimes it’s straight up heartbreaking.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a few ladies I knew who gave in to their diseases, and I grieve the loss of them. One passed away, one is still out there somewhere (I pray she is safe) and one ended up in jail…

It never ends well…

Grieving the loss of someone who is still living is one of the hardest emotions I’ve faced in recovery.

So today, I decided it was necessary to remind myself that although it may feel like the world is falling down around me, I am still standing strong with the help of some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

1,656 days…

That’s how long it’s been since I had my last drink. That’s a long ass time, people! It’s not a big anniversary, or something that I even plan to celebrate, but it’s pretty miraculous nonetheless. Trust me, I’m not trying to gloat or toot my own horn. In the beginning, I was ashamed to be an alcoholic, but I’ve found myself in a place where I’ve come to accept my illness. It is what it is. Some people are allergic to shrimp, I’m allergic to alcohol.

Am I proud to be an alcoholic?

No, not really.

Am I proud to be a recovering alcoholic?

Oh, hell yes!

For me, every day that I survive, every day I choose not to drink, is a miracle.

Most people will never understand what it feels like to live with a brain that begs for alcohol on a daily basis. There are days where I can literally still feel the burn of alcohol in the back of my throat, and I want to scream. There have been times where I envy those people, those “normal drinkers”, but mostly, I have come to the incredible realization that I am not being deprived of anything by choosing not to drink. I don’t need alcohol to make me happy, or funny, or pretty or smart. It brings nothing of value to my life, and then it leaves me feeling depressed and insecure.

It’s not worth it!

I lost absolutely nothing when I chose recovery. I’ve GAINED a lifetime of gifts beyond words.

Whether you read my posts or roll your eyes at them, I will continue to share because I want people to know that it is possible. IT IS POSSIBLE to live your life free from alcohol and still have fun, laugh and find joy in your daily lives.

1,656 days ago, alcohol almost killed me. For nearly 10 years, it had stolen everything I loved away from me. Honestly, I handed most of my life over to alcohol willingly, and then it nearly took my last breath.

I didn’t let it.

I didn’t choose recovery because I thought a lifetime without alcohol sounded like a super fun idea. I chose recovery because I HAD TO if I wanted to live. I had exhausted all other options.

This journey started with a single decision to change, and then I took action.

It’s been hard work. Some days,I’m exhausted and I want nothing more than to escape. There are days where I miss that apathy. I miss not having to care so much – feel so much. I also understand that escape is no longer an option. This battle is life or death for me. I can’t take a day off.

So yes, I am damn proud of my recovery. I am damn proud of my decision to abstain from alcohol, especially as society continues to drink it/talk about it/advertise it all around me. I am proud of my life today. What started as a single, fearful hour has transformed my life into something spectacular – truly a life beyond anything I ever imagined for myself



18 thoughts on “Still Standing

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  1. Think about it this way, are you an alcoholic? No, you no longer drink. Are you an addict? No, you’ve overcome the addiction.

    I think this is a mental bondage people get trapped in. I WAS an alcoholic, a drug addict and an addict of many other things. But I don’t partake in them anymore. So they’re not a part of my life anymore.

    Like you, I’m standing, but also have cut the ties and burned the bridge.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is wonderful. I, as a person, don’t understand the struggle of alcoholism, but as a mother, I am watching two of my children slowly descend into the hell of addiction. I have read a few of your posts to my son, hoping that he could see that there is a possibility of recovering. Alas…I fear his destructive path is going to lead to the ultimate surrender…death.
    I am not one to “roll my eyes” at your wonderful and inspiring journey. I applaud you! 👍❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you Vanessa for all your encouraging words I needed to read these words today. Just finished my drivers license hearing and I am granted a restricted license! Amen thanks again on your words of reflection to this illness and who we are. Lisa

    Liked by 2 people

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