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Every Year is a Reminder of Renewal

This time of year always brings me to a nostalgic place in my heart. It‘s not because of Christmas. There is another major event in my life that took place around this time of year.

I took my last drink and ingested my last drug 13 years ago.

When I look back at the woman who walked into rehab on January 2, 2008 I barely recognize her. She was 29 years old. The drive to the facility was an hour and a half and she was quiet. Her driver let her listen to whatever music she wanted to. Her driver was sympathetic. Her driver was her boyfriend. More importantly, he was taking her to the exact same rehab he had been to almost five years prior. The biggest difference in their situation? She was leaving her three year old son to do this. Where she was going was not a 28-day gig. Most likely, it would be three months. She used every last bit of energy to block all of that out. There was no longer an easy way to do that with a drink or a pill. She was going to take the long way around something for once.

Fast forward to 2020.

I went ahead and married that driver almost 10 years ago. He gave me two more amazing children and we’ve built a life around our sobriety. It’s a foundational piece of who we are as individuals and as a couple. We don’t shy away from it. It was a messy part of our lives but has shaped us into people we are proud of.

Early in both our journeys, 12-step recovery was a critical part of our success. I can’t stress enough how much I needed that. Over time, it started to not feel right for me, though. The foundations stuck with me and carried me through but I felt hidden. One thing I did love about 12-step recovery is the fellowship. There is something great about like-minded people coming together and supporting one another. I’ve looked for that elsewhere and found bits and pieces but ultimately felt like a kid desperately wanting the monarch to land on my outstretched finger only for it to get close but then flutter away.