As I sit at work on the Saturday before Christmas, Christmas Eve Eve, I get lost in thought. Nothing is happening here, do you know anyone who wants to talk about insurance Christmas weekend? No? Me neither. I can’t help, but feel thankful for this job though, no, career. I am so blessed that I have a boss who lets me work these flexible hours. I am grateful he trusts me to take care of his business that is so new, almost like his baby and he trusts me to make sure everything runs smoothly. I am so proud of how I am doing in this career I have and I see myself growing in this business for many years to come.
I think about last year and the year before that of these trying years. I am also so thankful for the growth that has taken place in such a short time. I learned yesterday of a marriage that is crumbling in my family. It hurts. It hurts to see addiction as the cause of this downfall. I see addiction tear people and families apart and it is truly heartbreaking. This divorce I am witnessing is so much like my own that it brings up these feelings that I have tried my best to put away. I don’t know if I will ever forget how that pain felt. Maybe I don’t want to. The fact that I know what the pain of a family broken that has to rebuild feels like makes me more cautious of entering the next one in a way that I didn’t understand before. I am so thankful of the distance we have traveled away from that break. I do still feel almost this guilt for my addiction, like, if I was just normal, if I could just drink like a lady, my family would be together. But, I can’t. I am an addict. I hear people say, oh but you are better now, you are ok. No, no I am not. I am sober. I have found so much joy in recovery, but I am not “ok.” Whatever that really means. I am and always will be a recovering alcoholic.
So, when I see and hear of addiction ripping people and families apart it almost feels personal again. I hurt for them because I know all to well what they are feeling. Christmas can be the hardest times of year for hurting people. 6 years ago, I was alone and detoxing. Nothing felt more painful that to stand in the Christmas Eve service wishing I wasn’t such a disaster. I felt empty looking at these happy families. I thought I would never have that. I thought I had ruined all chance of that. But, 6 years later, we know that isn’t true. 6 years later I have a joy I couldn’t have even imagined then. I have a beautiful relationship with a man that loves me for me, mess and all. He makes me feel complete and beautiful inside and out. I no longer feel like my sobriety is ruining anyone’s life. I still have that guilt from what no longer is, but God is transforming that. I have this truly amazing child that lights up the world. I have careers I am excited about. I have friends that are just so awesome. My life is full, but not in an empty busy way.
I am still learning and growing. I am still making mistakes. I always will. However, now, I am content. I have everything I want and need right now. God is giving me the desires of my heart, but probably because my biggest prayer is that my desires will aline with His. The prayer I pray most often is, God, give me strength and make your joy mine.
I am thankful this blog has given others comfort. I am thankful I can share my experience, strength and hope with all those who need it in the way I need it. You are never alone and the war is already won.
So, I pray this Christmas season that we can focus on the beauty around us. I pray we can find that love that was born to us in the most simple of ways. I pray we can all know the peace that came by way of a manager to those that no one thought mattered. We matter. We matter to God. So while the world may tell you you are worthless, crazy, trash or useless, just know that the most precious gift ever given was just for you. The thing about God’s love is, none of us deserve it, that is what makes it so special. Those who have been broken and feel empty understand that love in a way that others can’t. We know what it is to be full of a love we don’t deserve and we are more thankful than those who can’t recognize it.
Merry Christmas, y’all. Thank you to those who embody the spirit of love. Thank you to those who see my crazy and love and accept it. Thank you for loving me, even when I don’t deserve it. I hope I can do the same for you. Hug and kiss the ones you hold dear, for they are the biggest gift of all. I am very thankful my mini seems to get these things. She told me that we celebrate baby Jesus coming to give us love and that we do it with our friends and family, because they are what is most important. Now, don’t get me wrong, she is going to rip through those presents that are wrapped at the bottom of our tree, but she seems to get the most important part. It is the love we are expressing through gifts and time that is the most important part of Christmas, not just what we unwrap.
So put that ugly sweater on and smile! Enjoy the light that shines from the darkest of places. See the beauty in everything. Find the laughter! Share your joy! Slay (sleigh) those demons. Don’t let them lie to you. You are not your mistakes. You are the person that overcame them.