Seven days since my declaration. Seven days as an alcoholic. Seven days that have been filled with trials, and joys, and victories, and clear messages from God that I am Loved and doing the right thing. Today I went back to my Wednesday meeting. I have not been to a meeting since last week, blogging has been my “sharing” time, and I’ve meet with a few trusted friends to talk about my journey.
Today’s Meeting opened with a message from a woman who has walked the path of sobriety for longer than some in the room have been alive. She remembers being one of the new ones. She remembers listening to the veterans, trying to soak in all the wisdom they had to share. Today she shared a message of Gratitude of being grateful, not just feeling grateful. Gratitude is one of the tenants of AA. Focusing on it keeps us in the present, mindful, aware.
I am so grateful for the clarity I am now experiencing in my life each day. The clarity that allows me to seek help, absorb wisdom, offer encouragement. The clarity to be present, to laugh at my mistakes and not hide behind a defensive shield when I make them. I am grateful for joy.
I lost myself, along with so many moments and memories, in the darkness of my drinking. When I started this Blog I think I saw it as a bit of a life line. I was not yet in the place where I could walk into a Meeting, but I knew I needed community. I needed support. I also knew I needed to find my joy again. Today, joy for me comes through being a wife, mother, and friend. Once upon a time it came from my paid work. Joy now comes from taking care of my family; supporting my friends; contributing to my village; cooking; crafting; singing. My nightly drinking robbed me of that joy. I still did all those things, but had little joy in doing them.
Recently, I re-read one of my first posts, “…and it makes me happy“, about making lunch for my daughter and her friends. I wrote that day, trying to find my Joy. Believing that if I said “it makes me happy” over and over again I would feel happy. And I did, for a little while, but the clouds would gather and the dark voices would start whispering so I’d open the bottle to drown them and in doing so, I drowned my joy.
I am grateful I have rediscovered my JOY.