Saturday, August 23, 2014

August 22, 2014 - Five years

Most important day for me: Warning: may be disturbing for some people...
Five years and another happy birthday to me - I stayed awake until midnight last night to celebrate that I have not had a drink for five years - Now, while that may not be much to some of you, to some, it is - Like my daughter who really knows about it, growing up with me!
So often people say things to me like, "you are so unlucky" (I love this one:)
"What did you do in some past life?" - (thanks for suggesting I caused myself to have cancer twice and have an allergy to alcohol ?) lol - just a few of the bigger "issues" -(broker femur, broker foot, minor things)
Well, I am the lucky one. All my trials and tribulations have given me the courage (or possibly stupidity) I have today to share something so personal on a FB page.
Twenty-six years free of breast cancer - 18 years free of multiple myeloma (98% plasma cells cancer) - and, after eight years sober, in 2006, a relapse, where all hell started breaking loose for 3.5 years - !! - FIVE YEARS SOBER - no more hangovers - My mother was dying in 2009. My mother's birthday is tomorrow - coincidence I was "struck" sober on my mother's birthday? - I was six months sober and able to be with her in WA when she left us. I guaranty you, whoever you are reading this, (if anyone actually reads such a long post) ---that the only reason I am alive is because I got sober. The only reason the cancer has not killed me is because I stopped drinking, went to rehab and got help back in 1998. In my heart and the deepest core of my soul, I am sure of this.
I remember Dr V. telling me: "Cheryl, you have three terminal diseases, you need to get sober and get your affairs in order." (breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and alcoholism,he said - and he said the alcoholism was killing me first)
That was in 1995. I understand this may not be appropriate for my FB page, but after all I have been through, I simply tell it like it is.
All that matters in my life every day, literally, is that I don't drink. Everything else falls into place after that. When I was nine months sober (first time) in 1998, the MM, after bone marrow biopsy, results showed it was in a "miraculous" remission that the doctors had never seen before (or they told me that) - I have also been truly blessed with the most wonderful caring doctors and nurses anyone could ever ask for since 1989. I had no medical insurance through all that treatment, which brought the fight to a new level.
Robin Williams suffered with his depression and addiction and alcoholism - Alcoholism does not care if you are rich or poor, what color you are, or where you live - I heard him on TV say that his disease was doing push-ups outside the door....I relapsed in 2006 too. I remember it well when I saw it on TV, with my own vodka bottle in hand. I thought I was going to die and never get back. It seemed the obsession just would not go away, until it did, five years ago today.
I am filled with joy and my smile is as big as the moon right now, for me, and most alcoholics, if you don't have sobriety, you have nothing. To drink is to die for someone like me. Without sobriety, there is no family, no job, no car...and the list goes on - of course, no health, no bike!
Today I have my family, friends, loyal clients who care about me, my health, food and a roof over my head. Today I am not ashamed to share my troubles I have had with alcoholism, after all, it was trying to kill me for over 30 years.
If you struggle with depression or drinking or drugging, there is help and it really works!
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