I posted a similar photo to this one on this day last year. The reason I post it again this year is because I find it so bizarre that it happened twice: two years in a row I just happened to purchase milk that expires on my sobriety date. We were out of milk, and I coincidentally purchased milk that expires on April 13? Yes, and I think it’s pretty cool.
When my parents took me to treatment on April 13, 2005, they had many questions and concerns regarding success rates and the likelihood of their baby getting better. It was far more common to see individuals with multiple relapses than those with several years of uninterrupted sobriety.
Luckily, however, I was able to find and surround myself with those with successful roads to recovery — and some unsuccessful people from whom I also learned much. This didn’t mean that every person had uninterrupted sobriety, but God provided me with several divine people that helped me stay sober. Some of these people I still know. Some were just passing through. Each made an impact on my life and where I am today.
The world of addiction and recovery is plagued with tales of heartache and devastation. Often, the road to recovery is paved with good intentions, relapse and death. From what I can tell, there are not any accurate statistics on the success of recovery. I know that around my 5 year mark, out of approximately 30 other patients, three of us were still sober, and sadly, one of the 30 died in a drug-related accident. I haven’t kept up with the three to know if they are still sober or not, but it’s pretty accurate insight for those of you unfamiliar with alcoholism and addiction.
I often say that I’m unable to drink responsibly, so I don’t do it at all. It doesn’t bother me if other people do it, but I’m not a social drinker — I am an alcoholic. I don’t read many blogs, but I try to keep up with Glennon Melton’s Momastery blog. She’s very open and honest about her road to recovery, and it’s inspiring. If you’ve ever struggled with addiction in your life — whether for yourself or a family member — you can read one of Glennon’s most recent posts to have your eyes and heart opened to a raw, direct interpretation of it.
I know many people that aren’t vocal about that part of their lives, and I respect and honor that. But for me, being that I’m an open and honest person to a fault, I can’t help but share. Many times I think, regretfully, that I’ve officially shared too much information. Then someone contacts me to tell me about their struggle, or the struggle of a family member, and I think that maybe my struggle has helped someone. And that makes it worth it to me. That makes me thankful for my addiction and my recovery.
So, on this day — this day that marks NINE years of sobriety for me — I humbly thank God for saving me.
On this day — as we enter Holy Week on Palm Sunday, a time we reflect on resurrection and restoration — I humbly thank God for saving me.
Nine years ago life seemed very dark, bleak, and unforgiving. Today is full of light, love, and forgiveness. My cup runneth over.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28