“HALF MEASURES AVAILED US NOTHING. WE STOOD AT THE TURNING POINT. WE ASK HIS PROTECTION AND CARE WITH COMPLETE ABANDON. “Alcoholics Anonymous (The Big Book)
As I sat with my daughter in her car that cold January day, it became clear to me that by my coming clean to her I was marking this place in time with a very defining line.
And there was no going back after I answered her hard question of: “Had I ever watched the kiddos under the influence or driven them in an inebriated state. Anything short of complete and total honesty would not be acceptable, so I answered, my head hanging low, “yes.” That was all I could say and all she needed to hear.
She told me in no uncertain terms that if I ever wanted to care for my grandchildren again I was to get help for my problems. She was very calm, cool and collected about it all. She even stated very clearly and in no uncertain terms that she would tell my son and daughter-in-love of what I had just revealed to her; if I didn’t let them know myself and soon!!!
God has an interesting way of getting His way with us. Here I thought I was just simply giving up on living and would eventually end up sick like my sister and die an early death too. But He obviously had other plans for me.
As I am recalling this pivotal time in all of our lives, the next thing I recall was a scene I still have etched in my mind that I know will never leave me:
It was of my husband and I as we sat on the bench, on the porch of the house, that would soon become my second home. This being the residential detox and rehabilitation facility called The Ashland House.
Here I was, again leaving home to care for someone. But this time that person was me. For the next thirty days my focus would be only on myself and the job of getting clean, sober and healthy.
This new reality would become the new and much improved “Debi project.“
I don’t know what was racing faster, as we sat there waiting for nine o’clock to come; the thoughts in my head or my heart. Nervous and anxious does not do justice to how I felt in that moment. I was entering a strange place with no idea what to expect. I would be there for thirty days!
But there was Peace beyond all my understanding. I was ready for this new unknown and I knew God wanted me there. My family wanted me there. For the first time in a very long time, I felt hope for my future. I was ready!
All I could think was, “This is my last shot at figuring me out and I have to do it, because if I don’t I will lose everything and everyone I love!!!”
This time I would “change” for real. This time will be different than all those other times I tried to change and failed.
And it was!
I had not been clean and/or sober for so many years I couldn’t even figure it out accurately in the beginning, but everyday I was there it became clearer and clearer as the fog lifted from my messed up head. I became healthier. I could see what I had done and the pain I had caused.
In those thirty amazing days I discovered that:
- I was wrong.
- I had done bad things that were insane.
- I was a very sick girl.
- In finally realizing those truths about myself it put me on a new path to real peace and happiness.
- I was safe here at Ashland and I could be sane again.
- I discovered the Debi that God had designed her to be.
- I was an alcoholic and a drug addict.
During my time at the Ashland Home I also I realized I wasn’t alone in my crazy thinking and insane compulsive behaviors. There were other sick girls here and we were all on this journey of self discovery together. I had a disease. I had an addictive personality, with symptoms and character defects that were common among us all.
It was truly liberating to understand why I did the things I did. Why I was the way I was. It was all such a crazy experience. But this was the good kind of crazy!!!
The other amazing thing I found was that God still loved me and that even though I’d walked away from Him, He was still there with open arms ready to show me how much He loved me. During those thirty days He would guide me through daily journaling, devotional times, tons of praying and our 3 required AA meetings a day, to become the woman I had always searched to be but could never find.
It seemed that for my whole life I longed to be this woman after God’s own heart. I had always desired to be the wife and mother and now grandmother that I knew existed and that I saw lived out in other women I admired. I so wanted that life. And I did try. I just hadn’t found that last missing piece to the puzzle that was my life. But now it all made sense!
All the things I learned and re-learned in those thirty days about life, myself and God helped put my broken life back together. I learned to really like the person God had designed me to be. I realized that if I stopped blaming everyone and everything, that life was then in the right perspective. This was huge because now I knew that I was to blame. In taking ownership of that fact I could really make the necessary progress I needed to make.
I clearly saw the work I had to do in gaining back the trust I’d lost in myself and that my family had lost in me. While at the same time prove the kind of life I’d only dreamed of having, but was learning was possible.
Today I am strong, stable, sane and most definitely sober. Today I am ever-growing and changing. I plan on continuing this path in life for as long as God sees fit to keep here on this earth. Today I want to live. I am a new creation, who’s been born again, into this woman God designed me to be from the time I was conceived.
The journey of my life has been a long and winding one. But with each new adventure I get to experience on this sober and healthy trip called life I get to experience a new aspect of who I am truly meant to be. Today, I am a new wife, a new mother and the grandmother to my family I always dreamed of being. I am a better friend and colleague to those I work with. I am an encourager and sponsor to help others on their journeys through life.
I love my life; and for today at least I am mostly sane:)) And to stay that way I’ve learned that the “Debi Project” will never end.
For we are ever evolving as the people God intends us to be. We should never stop listening to His still small voice, because there will always be something He wants to refine in us. And that’s good. It’s OK!!! Hearing from God should be desired, no matter how smart or sane you think you are.
God has most assuredly saved me from that sinking ship I was going down in and He continues to reveal to me more of what He wants to refine and polish in me daily. It is a life worth living for sure and I never want to turn around or go back to whence I came.
And today It is very well with MY soul!