Dear God

Iron Kids Triathlon, Alpharetta, Georgia

Iron Kids Triathlon, Alpharetta, Georgia

Dear God,

Hi. How are you? Thank you for keeping me sober yesterday and please keep me sober today, too–I keep following your instruction to do this sober thing one day at at time. I was surprised yesterday when I realized I will have six months sober on Easter. I’ve been counting the days and didn’t realize how many months had added up.  By your grace, I’ve been able to get back to my sober life.

After being sober for three years, I really didn’t think it would be a big deal to have wine on my anniversary. But since I hadn’t been to AA the last year and a half of those three years, I didn’t have the regular reminder that I can’t drink like normal people.  And it took me three years of trying really hard to get sobriety back before I have been finally able to. Please don’t let me lose this?

I look at those three years and see your lessons.  One of the things you taught me was that financial security isn’t something I can count on, nor should I.  And through all that, here we sit in a teeny house with our life downsized 2/3 the size it was before. I never want to go back to big.

The blessings in having this little simple life are enormous. The boys share a room. We all four share one bathroom!  What character you’ve built-in all of us from all this sharing and physical closeness.

In my downsized life I actually get the laundry done.  The laundry room is right there.  I walk past it every time I go to the bathroom or to my room, so it’s easy to just throw a load in or take a load out.

Remember in the old house, the 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom golf and country club house?  Remember how the laundry would pile up in the playroom so high that my Mom would have to come over and help me fold it all?  I felt like such an incapable mother that I couldn’t keep up with the laundry!

Waverunners in Perdid Key, Florida

Waverunners in Perdido Key, Florida

Working full-time then and trying to run and manage that big house and big life really was too much for me. Sure I could handle it. I won the sales awards and the sales contests. I made really good money and we had amazing benefits for our whole family.

But none of that worked for us. Husband, the boys and I were all always running around, low-level anxiety permeated all of us. It wasn’t until we left all that behind, on a whim almost, when we decided to purchase this 1300 square foot 1925 farm-house and renovate it, that life began to get simpler.

Not at first, though. All the work the house needed before we could even move in! We were still drinking, and I can still see some of the trim I painted drunk that needs to be touched up.

Settled now, for the most part, I started my own small marketing firm, took a few clients immediately and learned the ropes of my new endeavor. Then, I got pregnant–and the boys were out of school for the summer–I gave up the clients and focused more on our home and family.  I was really happy. Giving up drinking when I was pregnant was a no-brainer, piece of cake. It was fun imagining the baby would be a girl and finally having some pink around our house. I remember thinking how grateful I was to you, discovering we were pregnant at age 42–I thought this must be Your way of getting me back to sobriety. We had decided to name her after my mother, Elizabeth Claire.

But you knew there were other plans for me, the miscarriage and subsequent D&C–gosh all that was awful. All the blood and painfulness. I was so sad.  The boys were so sad.  But it wasn’t meant to be. And I was able to see that if that wasn’t your will for me then I am okay with that. There must have been a reason – beyond my understanding – for losing the baby.

I’m sorry I went right back to drinking. And it was worse, more. After two months of that Husband had had enough and he threw me out. And in those dark, dark days that followed, I quit you. During those days of unspeakable brokenness and tears, I finally, finally broke.  I even felt something break in my head, like a physical sensation. It was the moment I told you I hated you, didn’t want you in my life and that I had no use for you whatsoever and I meant it with my whole being. I completely 100% for the first time in my life ever hated you. I told you out loud that I consciously choose to kick you out of my life.

And then something broke.

family2But then you sent an angel. my sister Liz who took off work and took me into her home and showered me with love and all of her religiousness.  Everything in her house is touched by you–the crucifixes, the rosaries, the Mary statues, the prayer cards, all of it. She set me up in her son’s room for ten days and I remember staring at that picture of Jesus of the Divine Mercy that she had tacked up on the wall right next to my pillow at eyes height. I remember staring into Jesus’ eyes. And they penetrated me, warmed me, filled me. I remember telling you I was absolutely broken and scared.  And I started writing.

I filled two journal books in those ten days, and I smoked three packs of cigarettes a day LOL!  And my sister who hates smoking never said a word to me when I smoked full-time on her back deck! She even brought me an ashtray. And I wrote two full books full of talking to you, praying to you, begging you and reaching out to you.  Every day my journal started out with Dear God.  And you filled me like you had never filled me before.

Thank you.

Within two weeks, I was reunited with the family and within two months I’d gotten back into AA and started working the steps. And now here I am, dear God, writing to you filled with peace and gratitude for all the wonderful gifts of my life. If I had to plan my life, it wouldn’t have looked like this.  And thank you for that! Because if I had planned my life, I wouldn’t have the joy and peace that you give that surpasses my understanding.

Love, Reg

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22 thoughts on “Dear God

  1. Dear Reg, thank you for sharing your courageous testimony of perseverance, humility, truth, charity. I can definitely see how in your weakness, there is God’s strength. Six months sober at Easter is a wonderful grace-filled accomplishment. Keep fighting the good fight, my sister in Christ. God bless you and your beautiful family.

    • Thanks Theresa! I was really happy when I realized six months falls on Easter. Easter has always been my most favorite day in the Church calendar, second is Good Friday. I will keep fighting the good fight! XO

  2. Typing through watery eyes. I am sorry for the loss of your baby and for the fact that you had to go through a D&C. A horrible experience. You could write an amazing book based on what you already have written. The simplicity, the struggle and temptation, the loss, the turning away, the dependency on God. Just like the Israelites of the Old Testament. A beautiful story of redemption. Your boys are precious. God bless you, Cindy

  3. Pingback: Sunday Snippets: A Catholic Carnival | Catholic Alcoholic

  4. Congratulations on your sobriety, Reg! My father was an alcoholic so I know intimately what that can do to a family. Thank you so much for sharing your very moving personal story…God bless you!

  5. Wow that’s a lot! Congrats for getting through and finding sobriety. Most don’t so much to be grateful for. We too live in a downsized situation. Lost my bigger house in a divorce. But it has given us rare privilege of appreciating and work with what we have. We too are renovating and just added 500 sq feet of finished space, plus other improvments that had we not had to live without previously, would never have appreciated as much as we do now. Am sure you can relate.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  6. I didn’t have time yesterday to sit down and write a proper comment, so I’ll do that now.

    I LOVED this post, Reg. So optimistic and strong and reflective. And beautiful. You know? LIke a shattered beauty? The phoenix rising from the flames, the hero climbing out of the rubble, the woman swimming to shore and pulling herself up on the beach.

    That’s courage. That’s self-love. That will keep you sober for 6 months more, then another 6.

    I am on my feet cheering you; you are astounding.

    • Yay! Thank you! I do feel completely at peace and hopeful about life so I’m glad that came across. I like the woman on the beach analogy. Thank you Rising Woman!

  7. Thanks for linking to my blog. I traced you back to this blog to check out what you were linking from. I am so moved by your story, thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. This story has the power to give hope to those in the middle of crisis and confusion, tempted to turn from God… Well done for having the courage to turn back to his open arms! I just wrote something about vulnerability which you might enjoy… http://hilarymurdoch.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/driving-vulnerability/
    and you might like this too…
    http://hilarymurdoch.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/breathing/

    i wrote a bit of my story too… with illustrations…
    http://hilarymurdoch.wordpress.com/storiespoems/
    thank you for sharing your story,

    God bless you with continued peace and unity and blessing in your life, your family and your home.
    Hilary

    • Sure! I guess “Dear God” letters aren’t very unique! Thanks for taking the time to read this. I will check out your links when I get back to my computer later today.

  8. Embarrassed but what is your Christian name? It’s Reg? Like in Regina? Anyways, thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it very much. Handsome family…

  9. Such a vivid, inspiring and heart-felt story – your story. The demoralization, the hurt, the slow grinding of yourself down…all there. But there is the faith, the hope, the uplifting…and the reunion to your family, and of course to God. And in there the redemption, the way out of the dark forest, through AA and God. As I always like to say, God brought me to AA and AA brought me to God. I feel that the Dear God letters are really letters to our selves, in some ways. It’s an affirmation and road map of and to where we are returning to…back to us. Back to the person we were created to be. And you were meant to be where you were meant to be all along. Alcoholism is nefarious and takes us to places we really aren’t meant to go, but it has a stranglehold on us. Those who aren’t alcoholics just can’t understand the power of the obsession of the mind and the physical cravings. But you have seen this and turned your life around in a stunning and lovely way. Your dedication to your God, your faith, your family, your writing, your step work…all shine through.

    It’s a wonderful thing to see…and we see it all the time…but not often enough. Congratulations on your sober time…fabulous. I don’t have a whole ton of time in the program either, but I do remember 6 months being significant for no other reason than it seemed like a *long* time to have gone without alcohol and not even thinking about it. How wonderful is that?

    Keep doing what you’re doing…it’s fabulous.

    Blessings,

    Paul

    • Paul. Your comments really help me. I know I write long pieces but I’m so glad you read them and comment. I love all comments of course but the comments from alcoholics actually do touch me the most. I forget how things must look to normal people after sitting in meetings I get spoiled with the feeling that everybody can relate. Nonalcoholics and alanon people can hear our stories and love us and offer pity or prayer but you have offered me comeraderie and understanding thank you!

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