I woke up this morning, a Wednesday, and looked at the date of January 16 and it rung a bit. I couldn’t figure out for quite a bit why the date stood out, but eventually realized that it is my first Day 1 Anniversary. It was quite a watershed moment for me. The first earnest action steps to stop drinking opened the pathways to a larger life, one that is still unfolding before me. It was a tipping point for self-care, listening to what my spirt needs to feel safe and whole; listening to my body, my conscious, my heart, to others more deeply. It has not been a straight line of growth and “betterment”, it has not been a clear goal that I’ve been striving for, but I feel different; I am sitting differently in myself than I was in January 2015.
While I have always been introspective, a good chunk of it was self-criticism, shaping, judging, fortifying. Where now I have more moments of gentleness and digging underneath my feelings to see what the roots stem from. With the help of AA, Buddhist study and meditation, I am learning to open my heart towards compassion instead of judgement and protect space in presence. Buddhism has specifically given me tools to ward off depression, anxiety and nihilism. I’m into it!
-Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp -Almost Alcoholic by Joseph Nowinski and Robert Doyle -After the Tears: Helping Adult Children of Alcoholics Heal Their Childhood by Jane Middelton-Moz and Lorie Dwinell