The End Depends on The Beginning

“We think when we stop drinking that we are giving up a mind-expanding substance [when] in fact sobriety is the true freedom, and opens up new horizons beyond anything we could have dreamt.” Primrose

Deciding to give up drinking is an emotional, mental and physical struggle I remember very well. For years I suspected I had a problem and was terrified to admit it. I was afraid that it would mean that I was broken and a mess, which (in my ways of thinking back then) would mean that I was unworthy and unlovable. I was afraid that I would have to give up my keys to The Little World of Block-It-All-Out and be left with no way to escape all those issues I was running from. I wasn’t ready to spend time with real me because I felt that I was ugly and shameful.

I had tried quitting or at least curbing my drinking before. Especially after particularly embarrassing episodes or near misses. I tried “not drinking during the week” or limiting my consumption, you know, with the “three drinks minimum”. I changed what I drank and who I hung out with. I “had it under control.” But the truth was, I didn’t want to give it up, or to be more honest, I didn’t want to be the girl who had to give it up. So no amount of rules or agendas would’ve worked. When I finally got fed up enough with myself and knew I had no choice, I knew that this time, I was quitting for ME. In my heart I believe that this made all the difference in the world.

“Problem is, people go into rehab and they’re not ready. You want to get sober for your parents, you want to get sober for your job, you want to get sober for the cops, you want to get sober to protect your image. A lot of good reasons, by the way, but unfortunately, the only thing that works is that you have to want to get sober for you. So, I was ready.” ~ Rob Lowe (quote courtesy How To Vomit Politely)

Finis origine pendet: The end depends on the beginning.

I was talking to a friend today about how self-assured and confident I feel. A lot of doubt has gone. I am ready for possibility, for all that life has to offer.

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Little Phoenix

I smile at baby photos of myself now. I never used to, and didn’t like to display my childhood photos around the apartment. When I looked at them I used to feel ashamed. Like I’d let that smiling toddler down. My heart would break to see her cheeky smile and innocence and I felt so far removed from the little girl I saw in those photos. I used to feel that I’d lost ME somewhere along the way.

Now, I’m smiling back with the same smile, full of wonder and joy and mischief. We whisper secrets back and forth. She tells me to look for the hummingbird hovering outside my window, to listen out for the wind chimes hanging in my porch, and about the real magic of rainbows. I tell her that the world is just as big and beautiful as she thought it would be, and even if life gets rough sometimes (as it will) she will be okay. And I tell her that I can remember her voice and her stories. I tell her that we are still up to mischief. I tell her that yes, she did grow up to be brave, strong and amazing.

If you choose to value yourself and make the change for YOU, because you deserve it, you too can do it.

Love and light, Phoenix

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23 comments

  1. Beautiful Phoenix. Crying here. Looking at childhood photo’s is/was still an issue for me. I have just imagined that I would speak with the young me, again. It is good, we’re hugging, thank you for walking this path before me. I can actually imagine now that I could put up a photo from me, somewhere in my house. 🙂 Thank you.
    xx, Feeling

    1. Feeling! Hugs sweetheart. Yes you can. Put up that photo. You are already learning so much. For me, I found myself drawing strength from the photos. They are a reminder that the real me is still here. 🙂

  2. Love love your blog posts of recent!
    Was looking at my picture as a child today and I too smiled at myself. It’s great day, day 31 sober for me but hey who is counting 😉
    Keep on writing lady!

  3. Thank you for your words…you hit right on so many feelings in recovery. I am almost 8 years sober in Minnesota and enjoy seeing others find sobriety. I really liked how you described drinking and daily life where you live. I think that is why it’s so hard for many here where I live, too, as drinking is involved with everything.
    Congratulations on your sobriety!

    1. 8 years! Wow. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I would love to read your blog too, if that’s ok.

  4. this is just lovely. I know exactly what you mean about being able to smile at photos of yourself, nowadays. I smiled when I saw that photo of you, too. and indeed she did grow up to be brave, strong and amazing. hugs to you. xxx

  5. Little Phoenix looks exactly as I’d pictured her. BEAUTIFUL! That may be the most radiant smile I’ve ever seen. I’m glad you speak to her and smile right back at all the hope in her.

  6. THX – What an eye opener – and a push in the stomach. You made a 40+ year old scandinavian wiking crying quitly while rest of family is a sleep. I have for decades had this strange relationship to my ovn Baby/childhood Photos, not interested in claming back my ‘match-Box’ cars when my dad died this Fall.

    Rememberring Photos of This 7 year old blond insecure pale kid – me – in his vere first 2nd hand soccer-dress. Al up to now I thought I was embarred about his situation (parents divorce / poor upbringing), not eager to visit this 7-year boy, Rather live life racing forward – Would NOT wrap up old wounds.

    what your post just learned me is how I have been turning this setup upside down. I did NOT wanted to invite him into my current life as I am NOT Living up to what he in all fareness could expect me Living my life. I am NOT proud of where I have manager to bring us – YET !

    Sober in Day 42 – and the Picture of mr 46 year old Soberman now Working his outmost to build the (mental) place, where he with GREAT pride will invite 7 year old superman over for an Update is Breaking my heart. And EXTREMLY MOTIVATING.

    NOT Drinking is NOT about Alcohol 🙂

    THX

    1. Hello Soberman. I am so glad I was able to help you and that you reached out. I am sure you will find a way back to the little boy as he is already walking with you. Hugs and love to you.

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