Friday, October 31, 2014

Growth In Recovery

My favorite AA meetings are when we celebrate sobriety birthdays. People who have one or more years stand up, receive an AA chip, cake, and share their stories.

I enjoy hearing their messages of hope and growth. It gives me hope to see people take a chip, and listen to where they came from, and where they are now.

One person’s story in particular struck a chord with me. He shared about the shame he felt whenever he looked in the mirror. He always blacked out when he drank, and always worried about his behavior the night before.

He made many mistakes, and had a lot of regrets, especially when it came to his children. He mentioned he always apologizes to his kids, and they tell him it’s okay, they have forgiven him, now he needs to forgive himself.

He shared that since he has proven he wants to live a clean and sober life, and he’s taking appropriate action, he can now face himself in the mirror. He looks at himself without shame and guilt.

He doesn’t carry the burden of secrets, and fear he once did. I related to his story because I remember when I was drinking, I hated looking in the mirror.

I tried to avoid looking at myself because I didn’t like what I saw. I only saw my failures, mistakes, and regrets. I wondered how anyone could love a person like me, I sure didn’t love myself.

When I got sober, if took about eight months for me to look in the mirror and not hate what I saw reflected back.

Now when I look in the mirror, I feel okay. Sometimes I still feel ashamed, but I remind myself that I’m sober, I don’t have any secrets hidden, and it’s okay to be loved.

I’m grateful to everyone in my life who loved me even when I didn’t, like my family, spouse, and children. They stuck by my side, believed in me, and continue to offer support and love every day. 

I’ve grown a lot in my time of sobriety, and I know that there is always more room to learn and grow. AA birthday meetings are my favorite, not only because there’s free cake, but also because I get to hear other people’s amazing stories of growth.

The first step to restarting my life and walking the amazing journey of personal growth was checking into an accredited drug and alcohol treatment facility. I was able to step away from my daily life, gain a new perspective, and learn how to live a happy sober life. If you are ready to start your path into sobriety, seeking treatment at a rehab is a great place to begin.

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