RADICAL ACCEPTANCE - JACKIE’S PATH TO SOBRIETY
"In my 30’s, within weeks, my marriage ended, I was 8 months pregnant with twins, my house had to be sold, and my beautiful life burned to the ground." - Jackie.
I'm happy to share Jackie's story, another in our blog series, each focusing on one person's journey to sobriety. Sobriety comes in many shapes and sizes and every experience is respected.
It means a lot to share these stories since our own family member has struggled with addiction. In fact, this person gave the blog its name with the quote below explaining what sobriety means to her. These experiences motivate us to donate nontoxic body care to recovery and sober living centers. -Cindy, Founder of H. Honeycup.
THE TURNING POINT
My entire adult life, I never had a problem with drinking or substances. Alcoholism runs in my family, and I assumed I dodged that bullet. In my 30’s, within weeks, my marriage ended, I was 8 months pregnant with twins, my house had to be sold, and my beautiful life burned to the ground. That trauma lit a dormant disease of addiction within me, and I began drinking to escape, cope, and survive life. My alcoholism took off like wildfire, and I went to rehab, IOP [Intensive Outpatient Program], a program for living, and relapsed until one day, drunk, I went outside my home & screamed out loud “God help me”. It was my bottom, my total surrender.
"Recovery isn’t for people that need it, it’s for people that want it."
My children most influenced my journey. I didn’t love myself enough to get sober for me. I wanted to be a sober mother. They are my reason. Sober women, who have walked the path before me, taught me how to love myself. Whatever motivates you to get sober, use that.
A NEW NORMAL
A belief in a higher power (God as I know it), surrender, willingness, & complete acceptance to grow, learn, & transform. I pray, meditate, and get out in nature. I connect to other alcoholics…
"Recovery is connection. I live my life now, I’m not just trying to survive it."
I put my sobriety before everyone and everything, as my most sacred possession. Sobriety is limitless.
WHAT MY LIFE WAS LIKE BEFORE
Alcohol led me to hell. Alone, terrified, sick, lost, and hurt. I was engulfed in thick suffocating darkness as the flames of alcoholism burned. Alcohol was the gasoline I drank in, feeding the fire of hopelessness, with the illusion of safety. Cunning, baffling and powerful. Sobriety opened the door out of hell.
In alcoholism my mornings always began with sweating, shaking, panic, self-hatred, and all-consuming anxiety.
"Every feeling and thought I desperately tried to run from by drinking the night before, returned that morning, times 100."
WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE NOW
When I open my eyes in the morning, I am rested, and begin my day by asking God for another day sober. Laughter, hugs, calm, authentic happiness and a cup of coffee fill my mornings now.
"Sobriety has filled my home with safety, trust, and love."
RESPECT FOR SOBRIETY
My friends and family are very supportive through my recovery journey. I also learned this is my walk, with God, and if someone isn’t supportive, that is ok. The oxygen mask of sobriety only I have to know is my lifeline, and I surround myself with people, places, and things that respect sobriety.
"I value my sobriety most, above my children, husband, family, friends. Without sobriety, I have nothing and no one."
Sober friends who are no longer sober, I pray for. That is how I support and love them, by turning everything I am powerless over to God. I allow myself space to feel all those feelings, cry, yell, & move through them.
I attend meetings in a program for living. That is my foundation. From that, I add in wellness, holistic healing, meditation, prayer, books, movies, music, nature, retreats, speaking engagements, writing articles, and sharing my sober story on my Blog.
"What’s boring is mindless drunk discussions, fake relationships, empty plans, lost memories, bad decisions..."
SOBRIETY IS NEVER BORING
The biggest misconception about sobriety I have encountered is that it is boring. I too thought that in the beginning. What’s boring is mindless drunk discussions, fake relationships, empty plans, lost memories, bad decisions, false courage, and being disempowered. The smoke began to clear with each sober day, and what I awakened to is that alcohol keeps you small. Alcohol closes doors. Alcohol is boring. Sobriety is freedom. I now have the life, marriage, job, family, and friends of my dreams. In sobriety anything is possible. A sober woman is the most powerful force walking the earth.
There is no “downside” for me, but the hardest part of sobriety is I have to be with my feelings all the time. This work is the warrior’s path. What has changed in my life? Everything. Absolutely everything.
"Anyone can recover. Where there is life, there is hope…"
Jackie is a Bucks County Pennsylvania mom, blogger, and local supporter. She interacts with the community @buckscountymama. She recovers out loud to possibly help others still in addiction. She believes shame dies in the light of sharing her story. Her blog is a living amends to her home in Bucks County PA, where she now gives back and supports her community.
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Thanks to Melissa Hartman and the San Francisco Examiner for speaking to me and our leader Lynn Power at MASAMI about The Conscious Beauty Collective and our journey to help consumers discover over 30 amazing good for you indie beauty and wellness brands. Amazing article showing the power of indie founders who come together to introduce conscious beauty to the world.