(not sure that's the right title for this, but I couldn't think of anything else)
January 26th is just another ordinary day. It's not anyone's birthday (that I know of), no one's anniversary (that I know of), etc. In fact, it wasn't until about 4pm when I said to myself, "What day is it today?" that I realized today was January 26th. And then I went, "huh."
You see, five, six, seven years ago--heck, even last year--January 26th was a big deal. It WASN'T just an ordinary day. It was a milestone! A BIG FREAKIN' DEAL.
January 26th reminded me of the victory, reminded me of how far I have come in my life, reminded me of how God has helped me to rise up in the face of adversity.
I find it so incredibly amusing that last year around this time I was excitedly anticipating January 26th--and this year not a single thought crossed my mind about it until the day was almost over!
11 years ago today, I was sitting in an emergency room, my friends gathered near by, my arms and legs covered in over 500 (yes, that is not a typo) cuts. Self-inflicted. (The Goo Goo Dolls got it right when they sang, "You'd bleed just to know you're alive.") None serious enough for stitches, but nonetheless a sight to see. A nurse gawked. I tried to disappear with my eyes closed. I felt like my life was over. If only I knew that that day would be just the BEGINNING, not the END!
11 years ago today was the LAST day that I ever cut myself. And 11 years ago yesterday was the last time I ever touched a drop of alcohol. Tomorrow I can officially say that I have been cut-free for 11 YEARS (mind-blowing, seriously, since I can remember celebrating going 11 DAYS without cutting) and today I've been sober for 11 years.
11 years ago today, I started on a new journey in life. One I was not completely ready for. I was hurting so badly (both physically and emotionally), I was so done with life, I felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day where things were the same over and over and over again. I never thought I'd come out of the black hole that I was in. And yet, here I am.
"God cares for people through people." That's one of my favorite quotes, and it couldn't be truer in my life. Eleven years ago today, it was my college friends (ahem, Jen) who were my voice when I no longer had any. They were scared shitless (pardon my swearing, but honestly, there's no other way to describe it). I don't blame them, I would've been, too, in their shoes. But that night, they were lifesavers.
I just can't believe how far I've come with God's help, and with time. Time really does heal all wounds (although the scars are still present). In the last year especially, I feel like I've finally been able to bundle up ALL of my experiences from the last 15 years and actually put them behind me. I'm able to look at even the really, really bad times and not feel so engaged in them. They're a part of who I am, and they always will be, but at the same time they're not on the forefront anymore. And what a good thing that is!
Eleven years (and probably a few weeks) ago, when I was there at "rock bottom" I remember saying to a friend that I wasn't strong enough, I just couldn't handle it. And she told me, "You are strongest when you're at your weakest point." It didn't make sense then, but it does now. I look back, and I see that strength. I didn't see it then, but I do now.
One day I hope to somehow repay every person who has been there in my life to help me get from there to here. I don't know how, but I have to. I owe it to them. For God's glory.