It struck me this morning as I was snug on the train with my Hunter boots on and my umbrella and my husband right next to me all dry and safe and going to my JOB that it wasn't always this way. I keep my past close, and one thing that I keep super close is that last year before getting sober.
That last year I lived in a Chicago Public Park, on a bench. It was my home base, if you can call it that. By my choice. I pushed everyone away and chose to drink over anything and anyone else. I begged for money for vodka. The gut rot, cheapest vodka. I walked around a lot. I walked around in a stupor as I was drunk all the time. I drank around the clock to keep myself medicated. I didn't want to feel or see what was happening. I remember vividly how people looked at me. The way moms walking with children looked at me, or tried to avoid looking at me. The way people walking to the train to go to work looked at me. Walked around me giving me a wide berth, as they didn't know what I was capable of. It was a terrible, lonely, never ending existence.
I keep that time close as I am now so desirous of a baby. I once had no home. I once had no self respect or self esteem or love in my life. No stability. No self worth. So when I say that a baby would be icing, I mean, a baby would be icing on the cake that is my INCREDIBLE life today. When I say life is so good, I mean it with every ounce of my being. LIFE IS SO GOOD. I am so grateful I didn't die. I am so grateful to be sober. I am so grateful that I am here to experience what is so incredible and worthwhile and what I was searching for all my life but didn't even know what it was until it found me.
Having a home, a job, a husband who loves me, my family being proud of me and getting to be involved in their lives, but most of all - above all the external stuff - having the self worth I always craved and drank because I couldn't find it within me, THAT is the Thing I Love this Thursday. SELF WORTH. Elusive and fleeting. When you find it, grab it by the balls and hang on tight. Work for it. Do the hard work. It doesn't come easy when you've lost so much. And it takes time. It takes a long time to heal and to experience that self love and worth you never ever knew until now. YOU are so worthy. Make yourself worthy. Be worthy.
I have flashes from time to time of people looking at me as if I am not worthy. And I don't even let it get to me for second. I look them right back in the eye, no head down walking away quickly. I AM HERE. And I am worthy. And I will look you in the eyes with pride and self worth. What you do with that is your choice. I choose every day to hold my head up and carry on with the grace and dignity that I have worked so hard to achieve and that was so lovingly given to me to pass along.