A Letter of Forgiveness

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‘Let us be willing to release old hurts.’- Martha Smock

Dear Renee,

The last three years have been especially harrowing, yet you’ve persevered. I always knew you were  a strong woman.

I want you to forgive yourself for the last ten years of drinking. I want you to love and accept yourself and know that you are a beautiful spirit.

You are not your past, and it does not need to define you. Your future and your community are the sober people, the perfectly broken.

Your children love you. The longer you are sober, the more their trust will return.

Do not look for love until you can find it within yourself.

Go to meetings.Work with a sponsor. Keep busy. Dive into work and become a stellar employee again.

Be kind to yourself and know that you alone are enough.

Let go of your past. Let go of love that is not evenly returned and move forward.

Find peace.

Find joy.

Find love from within, and the brilliance of it will flow to everyone you encounter.

Forgive yourself, and put your trust in the future.

Love, Renee

(This is a letter I wrote to myself the last night of my stay at the Brighton Center for Recovery. My addiction counselor told me to save doing this section of my homework after everything else was done. I read it to my community the day I ventured out of the Brighton Bubble into the sunlight of new future. I’ll  share of my journey when the time is right. For now, I have another story brewing about a wheat farmer and his wife. I hope to post it soon. This girl is getting her sparkle back for sure. Thanks for following me on this journey.)

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Guest Post for Daan van den Bergh

Pheonix

Today I share with you a link to a guest post that I did for my friend Daan van den Bergh. It ain’t pretty, but the best stuff I write seldom is. It’s a cautionary tale of addiction and redemption. My redemption has barely begun. Please be sure to share my story. If you’re living with addiction, get help, go to a meeting, and/or find a sponsor. Message me if you need to and I’ll point you in the right direction. I’m too new at sobriety to be of any use to you yet.

Triggers, Guilt and Alcoholics Anonymous

The Divine Truth on Guilt and Triggers

chuvsto-viny

Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element. –Audrey Niffenegger

Trigger happy, gun shy, and a horse named Trigger. I always thought my triggers for addiction were shame, boredom, sadness, and a host of others that aren’t coming to mind as I write this post. Turns out my trigger, my worst damn enemy, was plain old guilt. For my past, present and future. I keep trying to squash it, with humor, food and booze. I keep failing, miserably.  Then, everything turns around. I try to control it with healthy eating habits, exercise and abstaining from alcohol. Fuck not being humorous. Being a sarcastic shithead is my forte!

The truth didn’t come easily. Lessons freshly learned, no matter how important they are, will piss us right the hell off. As the dust settles in our hearts, we become comfortable with the truth. That lie you’ve been telling yourself, will become your saving grace. My moment came, in a confrontational argument with my Adam Boy.

Mom, sometimes I think you wish you didn’t have me.

Son, that is not true. You and your sister are the best things I ever created. Better than any story I could write. Any food over-eaten or drunken bender I’ve been on.  You are of my heart. My soul. I would die for you.

I gave my children the strength to speak out. I never wanted them to be afraid of the repercussions. To feel guilt or shame. I wanted them to know that I loved them even when they were confronting me about my shortcomings. Call me on my shit for the love of God, so I’ll stop being a dick!!!! My son did that. Dear God, I know he’s going to be a great lawyer some day!

Roger Darling left Adam and me outside so we could argue. I kept looking at the back door, feeling, guilty. Guilty because I was talking to my son and not hanging out with him. Guilty because I hadn’t finished the upload of Meggie’s wedding photos on my flickr account. Guilty because I hadn’t scrubbed the bathtub for two weeks. Guilty for not doing the fucking dishes after dinner. Guilty because I don’t act like a typical grown up.

Guilty, guilty, guilty. Blah, blah, fucking blah!

I believe in the Divine. That there are powers bigger than ourselves at play. We have epiphanies and revelations. Moments of clarity, that speak volumes without one word being exchanged. Sometimes they come to us in an argument with another. A blog post written by a dear friend. The tears of a loved one. Or a simple email from a co-worker. These divine moments happened to me, in a span of 24 hours. I can tell you, I have not felt this much peace-in years. Words are finally flying around my head and there is a smile upon my silly face.

Today, is a good day. Tomorrow, I pray is even better. If it isn’t, that’s okay. I can’t let guilt be my trigger. To over-eat, drink to excess, not write or reach out for help. Realizations, be they divine or otherwise are valuable teachers. We must heed the lessons they bring us. If we don’t we’ll never truly live.