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Redemption and Not Dulling Emotional Pain

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The last forty days of my life have been some of the most stressful I've ever experienced.

Not only did I write and deliver four major talks (to two women's shelters, one 12 step meeting and at the Meadows), but I also took on a new job and moved from Gilbert back to Phoenix. This was my third move in two years. Each place has been a little smaller, which required me to let go of much of my furniture, pieces overflowing with cherished memories to me. I also got Cellulitis, a potentially deadly infection of the cells after some dental work. The infection left me looking like I'd had a bad case of chickenpox—all over my face of course! The pain was so intense that the doctor in the E.R. prescribed Oxycodone.

There it was, the perfect opportunity for me to take a fall, whether I abused the prescription, took a drink or sought out a man (any man!) to keep me from feeling so alone. I had all the right excuses: stress, illness, loss, loneliness.

I didn’t and here’s why. I now acknowledge that everyone has times that test them. That’s life. Here’s what’s different for me now: I have chosen sobriety and I am at peace with that choice. Going back to using anything to dull my emotional pain just isn't an option for me. That doesn't mean that I didn't find something to help me through my rough patch. I reached out to my friends and got the support I needed when I needed it. I also found myself reading my Twelve Step book again, only to be surprised that after all these years I could still find something new as I read familiar paragraphs!

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Thanks for your kind words!

November 4, 2009 - 9:35am


I'm so sorry that you've had to go through the pain and discomfort of the last couple of years, but I'm so happy to read about how you handled it all and have come out the other end in such a good place. Major changes in our lives -- be they moves, sickness, divorce, loss of a loved one, a layoff or traumatic event -- have the power to break our routines and send us to old, familiar comforts. You didn't do that because, as you said, you were at peace with your decision to stay sober. What a huge blessing. Thank you for writing about it.

October 29, 2009 - 10:03am
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