Part of the work that I am doing with the Handel Group, and receiving coaching as well as training as a coach, is making and keeping promises. Promises have been pretty loaded for me in the past; the promises that I most deeply wanted to keep (I will never leave you) I have rarely kept, so when I went about creating promises for myself, I wanted them to be doable, yet a stretch for me in some ways.
One of the many promises that I keep each week has to do with my sobriety. I stopped drinking alcohol, for good, on August 12 of this year. Some of the reasons that I chose to do that is to have a healthy body; to get more clear and focused on my goals; and to provide a healthier legacy to our daughter, than I was given in regard to alcohol. I also knew, deep down, that alcohol and me are not a good combination, and that I am probably an alcoholic. That was a hard word for me to use.
The promise is that each week, I will tell one new person in my life that I no longer drink, and why I no longer drink. Truth. This past week, I did not keep that promise. No excuses. So, my consequence is that I have to go to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting with a friend. I DREADED that. I felt scared, uncomfortable, and out of place thinking about it, that is why I made it a consequence, so I WOULDN’T have to do it. However, here I was, needing to keep it.
Now, no one would know if I didn’t keep it, if I lied about the promise so never did the consequence. Well, no one but me. And, I know in my life today that I don’t want to be a liar, to others or to myself.
So, I contacted a friend who has been sober, fifteen years next month. She told me a few different meetings that she goes to that we could attend together. And, I did. I went last night. I was scared, and even feeling a bit self conscious, like I did, and didn’t, belong there.
Going to that meeting was one of the most meaningful times of my life. I heard my story in the story of others; I felt support; I felt hope. And, now I know that I will go back.
Because, I realized last night that it is okay to call out who we truly are; to get honest and real. And, that there are others who know, understand, and will hold you up on the way.
I am so grateful for getting sober.