Grateful I’m A Survivor
When I read the “Bringing the Happy Back World Tour Venue for August: Gratitude Project,” I wanted to barf.
August 1, 2011 was one of the most horrible days I’ve had in years. I got my feelings hurt, I felt horrible about me, my kids made me mad, my husband didn’t act the way I wanted. I cried all flipping day.
Then I looked at a calendar. And kicked myself in the butt…in a good way. It turned my whole day around.
July 30th, 1991 I had my last open-heart surgery. I’m pretty sure it’s not “last” as in I’ll never have one again, but the last of the three I’ve had in the past 20 years. The little girl whose parents were told she wouldn’t live past the age of 3 because of Congenital Heart Defects, has grown up and gone 2 decades without having open heart surgery. And not only have I not had to have surgery in the last 20 years I’m healthy enough to train to run a 5k. I’m healthy enough to keep up with my family. I’m healthy enough that my twice per year appointments with the cardiologist have become pretty dang boring (knock on wood).
That is enough to be grateful for right there. It’s a huge milestone.
But, look at the calendar again. August 2nd, 1995 I was drunk, confused, terrified and convinced my life was over. I had relapsed after 3 years and 3 months of sobriety and I couldn’t see what could possibly happen that could get me out of the black depths of despair I was in. August 3rd, 1995 I went into treatment for my alcoholism. I haven’t had a drink or abused a drug since then.
I am 16 years sober today. August 1995 I couldn’t read one sentence of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and make sense of it even though I had read it a dozen times before. I couldn’t see past 30 days sober. I had no idea how I would ever get back to where I was at the best of my sobriety.
I’ve been to hell and back and while Monday was a craptastic day, I’m still alive to experience it. It’s better than my best day drunk and it’s a miracle I’m still here.
Hell yes, I’m grateful this month.