In a recent meeting I went to someone referred to the steps of sobriety as, “Freedom from the bondage of self.” Queue yet another instance of me getting somewhat verklempt in a meeting. By somewhat I might actually mean close to full on crying, but that’s a minor detail. It doesn’t matter that I’d never in my life met the person who said that, who knows if I’ll meet them again, but this spoke so loudly to my insides. Is this not a large part of why any of us embark upon a journey to sobriety, a journey to not self-harm?
Thinking about this journey as a journey is so tremendously overwhelming to me. I know it is. I know it’s going to take time. I know it’s going to take a hell of a lot of work. But I also know I can’t think of it as a journey. I can’t think about it in terms of a journey.
I have to wake up and not drink. I have to wake up and not cut. I have to go to bed and not drink. I have to go to bed and not cut. If I start thinking about tomorrow, Tuesday, Wednesday, 2016, 2017, I’ll start freaking out.
For now I have this refrain going through my head, “Keep coming back ‘cuz it works if you work it, don’t drink.” I’ll add on don’t cut. I’ll not let go of my chip declaring my sobriety. I’ll carry around the paper I got from wearyourlabel that says, “Mental illness is just that – an illness. It does not define you.” I’m carrying them in the same pocket; often holding them in the same hand.
I’m not ever going to be “well,” but today I’ve not had a drink. Today I’ve not cut. I don’t know what’s going to happen six hours from now, but right now? In this moment? I’m clinging to this with all the terrifying hope I can muster.