Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 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!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

11

On December 28, 2005, my youngest brother had his first child. I have 8 nieces and nephews, and with the exception of the aforementioned nephew, I don't know any of their birth dates. Truthfully, I don't even know exactly how old most of them are. But I'll never forget Evan's first day, because December 28, 2005, was also the first day of the rest of my life. Today Evan turned 11, and today I celebrated 11 years of sobriety.

There is no relation between Evan's birth and my last drink. In fact, it took me a few years to even realize we shared this special day. Nonetheless, we both turned 11 today. It is a special day.

To say I'm amazed I'm sober today is a huge understatement. My first years of sobriety were rocky. I was stubborn and self-centered. I didn't want to be an alcoholic, and I sure didn't want to listen to anyone who thought they might have a solution! I was sure I was different. I didn't need any help. After all, I was a professional. I had a car, and a home, and food on my table. I'd never been arrested for drunk driving. I hadn't lost family and friends because of my drinking. How could I be an alcoholic?

Despite my severe case of terminal uniqueness, I somehow made it through those early years. I stuck around the people with the solution long enough, even though I didn't want nor think I needed to be there, that some of the solution actually began to sink in. I shut my mouth and opened my ears. I became willing.

These sober people had lives I wanted to live. They were people of character, compassion and love. And most of them had recovered from more difficult circumstances than my drinking had ever imposed upon me. I was, I figured out, lucky to have arrived when I did. If I had continued drinking 11 years ago I would not have been able to avoid a much darker fate.

Actually, if I had continued drinking I'm certain I wouldn't be alive today. The combination of depression and alcoholism would likely have taken my life years ago. I am so grateful I hung around, opened my ears, and eventually took the suggestions offered to me. I didn't just stop drinking. I changed. I became a kinder, more gentle human being. I learned to live life on life's terms. I am the person I am today because I am sober.

It is a special day. Today. 11 years. Sober. More grateful I could not be.

2 comments:

Rachel T. said...

That is amazing. Congratulations.

paullamb said...

Congratulations on your (ongoing) success.

As for "severe case of terminal uniqueness," I mostly suspect I'm afflicted with it as well. You continue to astonish me with your insights!



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