Sunday I celebrated my 6th year of sobriety. SIX YEARS. I’m still baffled and humbled by this process. How has it possibly been this long? I wish I could tell me at 6 months that it gets better, easier, that it’s an incredible journey. But that would be cheating, right? Every day, month, and year that I am sober equals growth, and I am so grateful for the all the lessons and victories along the way.
Like every year, this past year has had its challenges. The hardest was dealing with the death of my grandfather, which is thus far the hardest loss I’ve experienced in my life. Just yesterday I was eating breakfast with my husband and a friend, and the tears and grief washed over me after seeing an older man that reminded me of him. He didn’t look like him at all, but I think it was the New Balance tennis shoes that did it. I had to wipe my eyes and carry on, before the ugly crying came out in full force. I try not to stifle my emotions these days, but for me there is a time and a place for ugly crying (ha).
Speaking of emotions, I’m now trying to come to grips with anger. After speaking to my sponsor on my soberversary, it became clear that I am struggling with my temper these days. This doesn’t mean that I am in a bad place or am pissed off all the time, but when something does happen my anger has been going from 0-100 in seconds. AAers like to say that “more will be revealed”. This is currently my “more”!
The anger has been an issue since my grandfather’s death, and I think it ties in to me being away from my Ohio family and friends since getting married. I love my life here in St. Louis, but I miss a lot of people terribly. When I am back in Ohio and visiting, it is impossible to see everyone. Family is number one, and I am lucky to also have so many friends and members of my Akron AA family that want to see me. But it’s incredibly frustrating that every visit feels like speed-dating and exhausts me. I wore myself (and my amazingly patient husband) into the ground over Christmas. I realize that is on me trying to be a people-pleaser, but I really miss all these people and want to see them. When I don’t have the time to see EVERYONE, it makes me feel like shit. So I guess it is all a part of me still adjusting to my new life, and living away from home for the first time ever outside of college.
I am also working on upping my service work in AA! I am my home group liaison to the Women in Corrections Committee, and I hope to be able to take meetings into jails. I have all the paperwork to volunteer for the jail, but am worried that my past criminal conviction will keep me from doing so. Ironic, right? Time will tell, but all I can do is try at this point.
My life and heart in general remain very full. My husband and I bought a house last fall, and adopted a greyhound. I am active in AA, and I belong to a great women’s gym. I love my job, and I work for a great college. None of this would be possible without my sobriety. While I now have 6 years, it still comes down to the day to day. We stay sober, one day at a time.