966 days sober. Living life on life’s terms right now, which, to be fair, has been my modus operandi since I got sober. Not always easy but that’s what I try to do. Starting the diploma course was an example where I actually had to coach myself a little to do so.
I knew very little of what it would be like. Uncertainty isn’t everyone’s friend and it’s definitely something that can rumble Yours Truly. There were whispers that the groups were huge and all I wanted to do was go in and try to find out as much as I possibly could beforehand: how many of us, who is everyone, what’s going to happen, etc, etc. Is it going to be just admin or will we have to do that introduction thing we had to do at level 2 and 3 that I find so terrifying?
So I reminded myself of this one simple thing: just go with it. Let it happen. Don’t try to control or steer it, just let life be life on life’s terms.
No questions were asked. I forced myself to just try to relax and remind myself that whatever comes my way I can handle.
Lo and behold. Group is indeed 20-strong. More than half are new faces (read: scary). But it was fine. No, really – it was fine. And I took it in my stride.
Something weird happened too. Yes, the introduction exercise did happen. You get paired up with someone you don’t already know, spend five minutes each telling the other person about yourself and then back in the big group you introduce each other. And so I introduced the person I was partnered up with. No palpitations. No overwhelming fear. No massively awful nerves. And no one was more surprised than I was to discover that I introduced my partner without it being that big of a deal. Both times previously my heart had almost beaten itself out of my chest as it approached my turn. And I thought quietly to myself THANK GOD, perhaps it’s finally beginning to happen – i.e. I’m starting to overcome this crippling fear of speaking up in front of other people.
I’m not saying all of this to brag, honestly I’m not. It might sound like it, but I say it with gratitude, wonder and in the hope that it might help someone else who is just like me. In a way, I feel like I’m saying it to Drunk Anna. The Anna who was held back not only by her addiction but all these fears and discomfort at life in general.
The promises come true. Recovery delivers. It may require that you face the things that terrify you, but the universe has your back and each time it’ll get a little easier. Not noticeably at first, but then one day you’ll discover that you’re doing something that you didn’t think you could do. I promise. It might not be easy, but it will be SO worth it.
YOU are worth it. Keep going.
Today I’m not going to drink.