Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 16 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ten freakin' years!

It's a big, amazing, unbelievable day today. Double digits. It's been ten years since I took my last drink of alcohol. Ten years since I lived in the self-centered, manipulative, miserable world of an active alcoholic. Today, thanks to my higher power, my adoption of the tools of my recovery program, and my work with others, I am a recovered alcoholic. One day at a time, 3,650 days, I am sober, and that truly is amazing.

I'm amazed because ten years ago I could not have imagined a life without alcohol. It was my medication, my social lubricant, my muscle relaxant, and my solution to life. But, and I must remember this, alcohol also isolated me, filled me with despondency, and left me a suicidal mess incapable of coping with life. Sobriety is a gift. It is a gift of life.

The tools I've been so freely given in my recovery have allowed me to live life on life's terms. I no longer try to control the uncontrollable--that is, the people, places, and things outside of myself. That is truly a gift. Drama has been removed from my life. I now have the internal resources to deal with that which is in front of me, whether it be a crumbling relationship, a debilitating injury, a job decision, or major depression.

Of course it's not all sunshine and roses. Life never is. I struggle. I hurt. I feel. But the gift of my life today is I don't have to get drunk over any of it. Even in the depths of my mental illness, the darkness that is depression, I know it would only get worse if I took a drink. I'm so fortunate to understand that. And I'm so grateful I do.

I have no great understanding of why I got this gift. Why me and not my fellow sufferer? I cannot explain it. I am not special or unique. I certainly did not approach sobriety with a stellar attitude. I saw no similarities between myself and my fellow sufferers, only differences. Of course I had no desire to be like any of them! Alcoholic was not a diagnosis I yearned to acquire.

Yet despite my attitude and arrogance, I got the gift anyway. I stuck around. I became willing. I kept coming back. And ten years later I'm still here, still listening, still soaking it all in. Today I live in the solution rather than the problem.

With the deck seemingly stacked against me, I got sober anyway. And I'm sober today. I'm a participant in my life, doing the best I can, and not looking back. Thank God! Ten years. More grateful, I could not be.

4 comments:

Krista said...

Congratulations! Keep up the good work!

TriTrish said...

Congratulations! That is white accomplishment that you should be very proud of. Like running, it happens one step, one second, one minute, one hour, then finally one day at a time. Awesome work!!!

Nathalie Webb said...

Well done Etta. What an achievement!

Sarah Kellis said...

I have been sober 31 years by the Grace of God. I was low bottom when I surrendered ((in fact, have been called a "low bottom snob") but it took most of the yets to get me to call AA - loss of marriage (thankfully restored until his death 6 years ago), loss of house, job etc, but mainly loss of the person I had turned into and knew God didn't want me to be.

Thank God for AA (I guess I remain anonymous) and Happy New Year.

Sally



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