Sunday, January 26, 2014

four years

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Four years ago, the 26th of January was a Tuesday. I think. I woke up with a massive hangover, and an admission via a drunken late night email to my husband with those words... I'm an alcoholic. There was no other way to do it, in my mind. And there was no going back. January 26th is a date that will forever be etched into our minds, a date on the timeline of our lives. Our marriage.  

At first I counted days. Then weeks. Then months of sobriety. We celebrated little milestones, that eventually became bigger milestones, and now we're at the point where we don't look at the 26th of every month as a victory, but each year. Yes, each day is a victory of sorts. One day at a time, right? But for me, in my sobriety, four years in, it's more of a choosing freedom daily, instead of choosing not to drink each day. 

There's a freedom in letting go of the things that harm you. Keep you back. Tie you to your burdens. Make you someone you're really not. That freedom is the biggest gift that sobriety has given me. The knowledge that you can let go of harmful practices, people or things is a powerful gift to have on your side. There's a mental list that I keep of the things I'm proudest of in my life. Our  marriage is one. Birthing and mothering my children is another. But quitting drinking  is up there as well. Most of my daily life as I know it wouldn't be possible if I had kept drinking. If I had kept hiding. 

My story is not unlike many others. I've been thinking of sharing old blog posts from that raw part of my life, here for people who might not know the story, who might need to hear it. There's power in our stories. There's power in our truths. They are not cookie cutter, one size fits all, stories and truths, recoveries and processes - but they can empower others and bits of our stories can be identified with by others. I truly and honestly believe that fact. 

This morning I woke up, head full of a cold and mind foggy with congestion. I hugged my babies, who aren't really aware of all of this, of mommy's allergy to alcohol {a phrase that many use to explain an alcohol problem to their children}. I went to the grocery store and bought a cart load of groceries, and also a mini orchid. I've always wanted one... but my inability to keep houseplants alive has frightened me out of buying one in the past. But today I bought one, I figured, why not? I've kept myself sober for four years, giving an orchid an ice cube a week is nothing. 

Freedom in choices. Freedom in mindfulness. There's freedom in it all, even in the choices that seem so hard to make, that are so scary, that seem like life just won't go on after they've been made. But life does move on. The key is how you will move along with it. With fear hanging over your head, or with freedom in your pocket. 

23 comments:

  1. "choosing freedom daily" - I love that, because that's exactly how it feels. I sometimes get chills walking past the beer and wine at the grocery store, quaking at the thought of all the damage they could cause should I waver. I shake off the fear when I remember that I'm the one in charge now, and it will stay that way.

    I've always worried about killing off orchids too - I'll be curious to see how yours comes along, good luck!

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  2. This is lovely...celebratory...and freeing! May we all move forward with freedom in our pockets. It means so much that you share this, Corrine.

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  3. Beautiful post.......I am glad Michelle shared this on FB! Otherwise I never would have found it! Congratulations on your continued freedom!!!

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  4. So beautiful Corinne. Congratulations xo

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  5. So very proud of you. You are not alone..because don't we all battle for freedom from one vice or another? It is the human condition to crave and do battle for true fredom-not the imposters that rob us of life itself. Congrats! I have every confidence that you and that orchid will be just fine because you are both more hardy than you appear on the surface.

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  6. What a great way to mark the day, with beauty and the green of life. Alcoholism took too many of my extended family too early, and its tentacles are still present in various ways among some who are still living. How brave and bold you were to do this when you did. I hope this orchid blooms many times for you.

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  7. I'm so happy you have freedom in your pocket. Hugging you from here my sweet friend!

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  8. when i see the beauty you have created, in your home, family, life...i hold it close and whisper up my own thanks. i know that it might not have been, and i am so thankful that it is! xoxo

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  9. This is just incredible, Corinne. The beauty you have shared in your freedom will surely inspire others too look for the path toward their own freedom as well. xoxo

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  10. Beautiful post! Congratulations on 4 years! You have a beautiful soul and I'm so glad to have "met" you through Instagram and your blog!

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  11. Congratulations! What an accomplishment. I found you just before then, and felt like maybe I didn't belong, sometimes, reading along as a newbie to your story just as it turned so raw. But it was compelling and strong and I was rooting for you, and I am so glad to see you where you are now.

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  12. I love this post...every year. :)

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  13. Congratulations on four years of freedom!

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  14. I remember, Corinne, when you brought this to light and in doing so, created a conversation with others who struggled with this same addiction. I love reading this and celebrating the freedom you have. And the orchid? Beauty to gaze upon, a sweet way to give thanks.

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  15. This. These words. Thank you. Someone in my life needs to read this, and I need to be reminded that their freedom is still a possibility. I could kiss you right now. Smooch! Also, I almost bought a mini orchid the other day and then remembered the last time I had one. Apparently one ice cube a week is still too high maintenance for me. :)

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  16. "There's a freedom in letting go of the things that harm you."

    So true, but sometimes we cling to that which hurts us because we think by putting up boundaries we'll be giving up freedom. But in reality, it's sometimes the boundaries that give us the freedom to fly.

    Beautiful! A big congratulations!

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  17. So beautifully written. Congratulations! xxx

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  18. I think the "congratulations" lies in the facing of truth and stepping into courage with the smidge of trust that you had. You got to the bottom of yourself wanting to control and chose light. And this is worship -- the uncovering of shame and lies and stepping out of our cave and trusting He's got us. And there is where freedom lies. I'm celebrating with you today . . . your choice to step into truth and your choice to declare it here right now. Such beauty. And such love awaits you, eh? {hugs}

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  19. "Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now you are traveling the road between who you think you are and who you can be."
    Congratulations! A beautiful gift to yourself and your family!

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  20. Happy soberversary! I have 4 years on the 6th and am pleased to share the month with you. Reflections are imperative to us, to remember what it was really like keeps me in check daily.....

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