BY: TAMI HARPER WINN
So I missed a week, and what a week it was with my daughter’s prom, my sobriety birthday, family, and my baby girls high school graduation. I have to say that with sweet surrender of summer breathing down my back I am finding it harder and harder to want to work. I find myself lost in the trees of the mountains, drinking from the ice cold waters of the overflowing creeks, stealing hours watching the sunsets, inhaling the fragrances of fresh cut grass and lilacs. I am sitting around campfires listening to the crackling of the wood and being serenaded by crickets in the evening. I am enjoying my life. I have been so blessed.
So, starting this next month I am going to delve into the softer side of myself – the side that wants to cherish myself and care for myself. I am going to not be so hard on myself, because I believe at times I fall short of my expected ideals so I’m going to give myself some extra love. t
May was a hectic month. With the greatest gift I could #Payit4ward with, I set my daughter out into the world after her graduation knowing that I completed this leg of my journey. I felt secure in the knowledge that I had done my very best to contribute to her successful completion of childhood. I passed on my recovery to her instead of my alcoholism. Who she will be in the future will be a testament to my journey through recovery. She is the best gift I could have offered the world.
Now, this month as I revisit how to love myself and no judge myself so harshly, I go back to Mexico in my mind. I find myself in the hammock and start the month of #funinrecovery and I let myself loose.
I am going to be bringing in more retro blogs this summer – revisiting where I have come from so as I do not forget and offer others a chance to see the growth of recovery in my life. I will be busy enjoying my life once again, stopping to smell the flowers and visit with friends. I will be on a quest to once again get back to the basics…love. (btw, I met a man and I’m excited to see where it is going)
So, while I will not be gone, I will be bringing back the oldies and refreshing them so I can take more time to enjoy this new leg of my journey. I will be loving myself and my life and sharing my experiences. I will be stepping away from judging myself so harshly. I’m going to be more gentle with myself and re-learn how to have #funinrecovery like a rockstar. So without further ado, I am dropping the F-bomb again by using The “F” Word in Sobriety like nobody’s business. I hope you join me as we once again discover how to have #funinrecovery.
The "F" Word in Sobriety
There she goes throwing the “F” bomb around like a jet plane unloading bouncy balls over the city of New York. Who is this crazy lady flinging this word around with all the flash of Lady GaGa during a Super Bowl Sunday Half-Time Show? Well, this lady happens to know the true meaning of the “F” word and for all intensive purposes tends to do the word its due justice. You see, this woman is experiencing the “F” word in all its glory as you are reading this right now. That’s right. She’s laying on the beaches of Baja, California lapping up the sun and shaking sand from her toes while she has “Fun” in sun - completely sober.
You heard right - “Fun” in sobriety. This word is commonly referred to as the “F” word in sobriety because it’s the hardest thing to do when you first start the journey. Well, as I stated earlier, that she is me and I am currently sitting on some beach in Mexico, or strolling the streets snapping gorgeous pictures, or getting to know the local town drunks at an AA meeting, or enjoying the mariachi bands under the evening stars. I am having fun.
It is not something I always knew how to do, especially early on in sobriety. Early on I didn’t think it would ever be possible, in fact I believed more than likely I would die a slow boring death now that I had stopped drinking. I could never have conceived that I would one day be on my first ever grand adventure to share sobriety, not margaritas, with a friend in Mexico.
I once thought that hours playing pool, doing rounds of shots at the bar, or getting stuck on stupid in a bathroom full of tweekers, was what fun really meant. I actually lived for it – planned my days around it. My mind could never wrap itself around the idea that one day, I would know the true meaning of fun. It could never conceive what the world looked like from the basket of a hot air balloon in the early morning hours, what the adrenaline would feel like coursing through my veins as I paddled over rapids on the river, or what countless sleepless hours would feel like at a sober convention with a bunch of recovering drunks. My mind was limited in its ability to see further than the bottle or mirror that the lines were railed out on.
No high I ever got from a glass pipe or a shot of whiskey was ever going to be able to compare to the highs I would experience in sobriety. It wasn’t easy when I first had to close the door to the music that lingered across the lake into my living room from the neighborhood nightclub every Friday night when I first got sober. It wasn’t easy walking past the 24 pack carrying kids half drunk at the convenience store counter loudly boasting about the party they were on their way to. Nor was it easy to pass the bar I frequented night after lonely night to go to a meeting instead. I could have never known that my life would look like this in only a very short time.
Today I can experience the “F” word in all its magnificence. I am present in every moment, soaking it in, contemplating every delicious idea that comes my way and then indulging in it. Moments of campfire meetings with sober drunks, dances and karaoke with out an ounce of alcohol in me, bicycle rides with my friend across town on a warm summers night, laughing as I clumsily whack away at a tiny white ball on a little wooden tee, and backyard movie nights under countless stars with with my loved ones and friends were something that even this creative mind could not conjure up.
But that is just a small glimpse into the life of recovery for me today. It is a but a brief spill of words across a computer screen in comparison to the fun I have actually experienced since I put the drink down. I don’t intend to ever let a bottle get between me and the chance to watch as the ocean comes into view after an 8-hour drive to the Oregon coast ever again. I want to throw the “F” word around like nobody’s business for the rest of my life and enjoy every moment of it.
I can have it all the rest of my days if I nurture the gift of sobriety that my higher power has given me. I can if I give back to those who have yet to experience the full depth of the “F” word because they are too broken to know it exists. I can have it forever if I do what I have always done since the moment I put the shot glass down and picked up the Big Book of AA. If I don’t do what I have always done, I won’t be able to have what I have been able to have as a result of doing the work to get here.
I can’t speak for anyone else, nor do I want to, but for me I’m going to use the hell out of the “F” word for as long as my higher power will let me. I hope that he allows me to share it with others and help them to see that dropping the “F” word today has a whole different meaning than dropping it when we were drunk or high.
Until I return, sombrero in hand, I bid you adios and Que la pases bien.
~ Tami Harper Winn ~
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