Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 18 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!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

12 Years

It's a big day today. Twelve years ago today I began my journey into recovery. I've been sober for 12 years. Wow. Writing that's barely believable. I never thought I'd be sober this long. It's truly a miracle.

Twelve years ago I never could have imagined how tremendously my life would change as a result of getting sober. I don't know what I expected, probably a miserable life without my favorite coping mechanism, but that's not what sobriety reaped. I stopped medicating my depression, and my depression got better. I stopped spending my free time drinking, and all my time got better. I became a valued employee, a more faithful friend, a responsible patient, a more respectful daughter, and a compassionate person. Who knew sobriety could reap such rewards?

I feel very lucky and quite proud to be celebrating 12 years of sobriety today. I don't know why I "got it" when so many others haven't. Perhaps it's because I became teachable for the first time in my life. I did what was suggested and took it one day at a time. But I've seen others who appeared teachable, who appeared committed, who said the right things, and they didn't get it. Why me and not them? I don't know. I'm proud of the work I've done, but I feel lucky to be here 12 years later, nonetheless.

This is a big day. I'm grateful for the life I've created, a life which never would have been possible if I had continued drinking. I'm grateful for my job, my friends, my house, my dog. I'm grateful I can handle situations which used to baffle and confound me. I'm a contributing member of society today, and I'm proud of that.

Today I have choices. Addiction does not allow for choices. It also doesn't engender responsibility. I am responsible for creating the life I lead. I know that now. And it's a life I get to choose only because I am sober. That's a gift.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your milestone. Your words are so poignant, so full of wisdom that I am sharing them with anyone I know who is challenged by addiction. There are a few choice phrases that are keepers. Thanks for your openness. Your words really do help.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was doing well going two months without beer (because of my new meds). You're a role model for us all!

David said...

Wonderful that you shared your milestone. I feel an kinship with you as I am in sobriety 12 step program, as well depression counselling and group support. I have 2 years 4 months sobriety. Wonderful blog btw. Continued success to you

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to find your blog and feeling I'm not alone because there's someone out there keep going, too. thank you for being such an inspiration and make me know that even pain is real, hope is also exist. Thank you.

Anna said...

Nice post.