This Is What Gratitude Feels Like

I am 25 days sober, and I feel amazing.

For a full 3 weeks, I felt almost debilitated. I was depressed, lethargic, and miserable. I had nausea, night sweats, and diarrhea. Some days I literally had to talk myself through putting pants on, and I wasn’t sure if I could keep going.

Are you asking yourself what I mean by “talking myself through putting pants on?” Here’s an example of how I shuffled through my days:

What’s the next right thing?

Putting on pants. I have to get some pants and put them on.

My pants are on. What’s the next right thing?

I need to get my purse. Okay, I have my purse.

What’s the next right thing? I need to find my kids.

Where are my kids?

Shit.

***

That’s what happens when a person suddenly stops drinking after her body becomes accustomed to metabolizing a bottle of wine per day; the body goes into some sort of shock, and trust me, my detox process went a lot better than most. My emotions literally rocketed between intense depression and elation every 5 minutes. I’d go from feeling like sobbing from joy, to wanting to rip our neighbor’s shrubbery out of the ground with my bare hands because I WAS JUST THAT MAD. Mad at myself, mad at the world, and most of all, mad that I will never be able to drink alcohol again without an ugly relapse and even uglier recovery.

Change is scary and it’s hard, but now that I’m starting to feel better, I’m excited to get my life in order. Prior to this, getting my life in order meant going to Office Depot and finding color-coded sticky notes and file folders to keep our paperwork organized. Then I would get drunk and throw a bunch of important papers away because, well, I was drunk, and that’s just how I like to organize sometimes. Throwing everything away means that the mess is permanently filed and I won’t ever see it again.

That’s just how my mind works.

It’s ridiculous that at 37 years old, I’m going to have to re-learn how to cope with the difficulties of life — grief and pain and abandonment and loss and the everyday stress that accompanies motherhood. Maybe I never knew how to handle those things in the first place, and that’s what landed me in a 12-step program. The hows and why don’t matter. I just want to get better.

There are people in my life who don’t believe I’m an alcoholic. There are people who think I’m making it up for attention (please note: this is not the kind of attention you want). Let me share something with you guys: not one of us lives a pain-free, perfectly happy life. Not one. People often assume that because I smile a lot, I’m either stupid or don’t have anything bad going on. The truth is, no one knows anything about me that I don’t want them to know. As much as I freely share in person and online, there are many layers to my story and my days that I keep private. I think most people are like that. We only share what we feel safe sharing, and we may take the rest to our grave.

***

This morning I had coffee outside with two of my favorite people, and I noticed that 25 days into my new life as a sober person, the air feels different. Breathing feels different. It’s like I’ve been living in a musty, dark basement for years, and someone patiently helped me climb the stairs up and out of a situation that I didn’t even know was bad until I saw the sun and felt the warmth of it on my face.

That is what gratitude feels like.

17439801_10158719307395508_594587543_n

I told Robbie that if someone had to pick which of us looked like they are in a 12-step program, it would not be me. AND YET.

(If you liked this post, then you should follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!)

 

 

11 thoughts on “This Is What Gratitude Feels Like

  1. “The air feels different”. I love that. I remember that feeling. Sometimes I miss the “newness” of those early sobriety days that were good. Sobriety felt different, and GOOD. It still does, but it’s not as new. I’m glad you’re feeling it now. 🙂

    Like

  2. Pingback: Women I Admire Day 22: Harmony Hobbs, Loving Herself Enough to Change #WomensHistoryMonth | Papa Does Preach

  3. I found your FB page and started reading your stuff like one day after you shared that you’re an alcoholic. My husband is an alcoholic, and he has been sober for about three years now. Walking this road with him I learned quickly that there is such a negative stigma about alcoholism. And it’s so HARD because so much about our culture and social lives revolve around alcohol! But I am SO encouraged by your honesty and transparency. It has even made me think twice about how dependent I can be on that glad of wine to save me from the stress and pressure of working full time and being a wife and mom. Thank you for writing, it’s inspiring, it’s real, it’s a breath of fresh air for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m happy to see you are sharing your gift of journalism in such a positive way, Harmony. May your testimony help other struggling souls!

    Like

  5. Pingback: No Makeup, No Men, and No Mirrors | Modern Mommy Madness

  6. Pingback: A Month Of Fitness | Modern Mommy Madness

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s