Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrating and remembering

Today I celebrate 21 years sober. I had my last drinks on Sept 16, 1989 in my apartment in Lynchburg, Virginia. That afternoon I entered the local treatment center less than a mile from my home. I had jogged by it hundreds of times over the course of six years, sometimes drunk, mostly hungover. I had, of course, no idea that what went on in that building would change my life.

I've been thinking a lot about risk. Am I willing to continue to risk and change how I do things? Can I risk asking for help when I need it? Can I risk being that vulnerable? Can I risk receving the help that I ask for or that is freely offered? Can I risk letting go of some of my hard-won self-sufficiency, a trait I know that people admire and are attracted to? Can I risk opening my heart wider than ever before?

I think back to the risk I took so many years ago. The risk to give up drinking and step into something I could never have imagined, for my life today resembles very little the life I lived then and is not anything I would have predicted.

Four days before I went to the treatment center, I surrendered and admitted my powerlessness over alcohol. I didn't know that that was what I was doing. I just knew I couldn't go on in the same way. Then last February I came finally to the same understanding about sugar, and I surrendered. Now another opening is occurring, a chance to deepen my emotional and spiritual life. What will happen if I step through that door?

1 comment:

sorella said...

Dear Jill,

Congratulations -- on your 21 year anniversary, AND your since-February no sugar anniversary. I love the idea of you opening your heart more. I know that many of us are yearning to find ways to be more vulnerable, less armored, and you are showing the way!