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Twenty- Six

I am now longer sober than I was alive when I walked into a smoke filled room, immediately resentful that I had just quit smoking. They told me to wash ashtrays in the kitchen which was an affront due to them not really understanding who I was and I HAD JUST QUIT SMOKING! Clearly they were out of their minds...but no. It was me. I was out of my mind. I was the mess. I was the wreck of a human being that walked through a door and changed everything.

A friend lost someone yesterday to this disease. Their struggle ended while I have the privilege of continuing on. It is hard to reconcile why me and not others? I am sure there have been times when I haven’t wanted it more. I know there are people who have done it better, with more heart and dedication. So why the hell have I been so fucking blessed to be 26 years without any substance that effects me from the neck up?

Because I kept going. In darkness, in pain, in heartbreak, in love, in total decimation, in like, in joy, in hate, in obsession, in cocksureness, in cowardice, in faith, I kept walking towards the light even when I couldn’t see that there was any light at all. I kept going, staying instead of running screaming from the rooms, often in spite of a strong desire to bounce.

After a lot of thought, I am still here because I was unable to manufacture a better idea. Nothing has come to me over the past 26 years that has seemed like a better idea. An idea that seems capable of producing better I just did this, over and over and over again. And, I am amazed at the life I have today.

I still struggle. I still experience heartbreak and letdown. I still rail against the machine, even though I am sure that I don’t even really understand what I am all upset about anymore.

I brought this broken, damaged, self destructive, angry, rage-filled adult child to a tiny house on North Gadsden street and they gave me principles by which to clean up my life, find meaning and give me a purpose for living. I will be the first one to admit that it is not really the purpose I was searching for when I got here. However, I can say today, that I am so fucking grateful that I didn’t get the life I wanted when I arrived. I would have so sold myself short. I didn’t have the self esteem to even begin to ask for the life I have today.

I have been transformed from the human wreckage that sat in the back of the room into a person who mostly lives a purpose driven life. I try to live by spiritual principles and I still fuck it up all the time. The difference between then and now is that I am honest about it and I have a true desire to do better, be better, give better.

I will never be entirely sure why I was spared the fate and death that so many of us experience. I will never know why me and not someone else. But what I do know is that I have tried my very best to honor the gift I have been given. I have tried to be grateful for the gift of life instead of living the sentence of a living death. I have tried to honor all that I have been given because I see that not everyone gets this chance. Even if given it, not everyone is capable of accepting it.

Today I marvel not at what I have accomplished...but what God and I have accomplished together...God showing me the way, me following. God, giving the directions, me following. God lighting the path and me, meandering towards a goal that I can never quite make out and am often not sure I want. Nevertheless, walking in murky faith towards whatever next awaits me.

I do not have the life that I wanted today. I am not married to the abusive alcoholic I so wanted to marry 26 years ago. I am not married to the man that I did marry and have children with. I am not tied to any man and today I can see the wisdom in that...perhaps not from God’s perspective but from my own limited vantage point.

Today I have a life that is rich and replete with love, abundance, trust, faith, friendship and inner peace. I didn’t get what I wanted and I am so fucking grateful. I wake up every day marveling at the life I get to lead, the joy I get to have and the life I get to live.

It isn’t always what I want. I still try hard and am denied. I still love and lose. I still feel pain and loss and sorrow, but I live each day with a richness that can only be understood by someone else who has stood in the doorway between life and death and slowly, every so slowly turned back into a life uncertain and full of pain. Walked through all the wreckage and loss to excavate a life worth living.

I thought it was all happening to me and today I can see that it was all happening for me, and still is.

It was a lot of fucking work. But it was worth every hard day, moment and fist pounding temper tantrum I have thrown. It was worth all the anger, resentment and fear. It was worth the heartache and tears. It was worth every second of every moment from that moment until now. 819,936,000 seconds accepting that my will gets me drunk and that can always be my choice. But if I am wiling to just do the next indicated stupid thing, I can and will be given a life that is beyond anything I could hope for, imagine or create on my own.

To walk hand in hand with the universe in the sunlight of the spirit turns out to be one of the best hikes I have ever been on in my life. Thank you to everyone who has supported and endure my journey with me. I love you as much as I love this life.

Namaste! Journey on trusting God, cleaning house and helping others one fucking day at a time...

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