” Just for today, I could live through this day only….Not deal with life’s problems. Just for today.” ~George Harrison~
I recently came across a picture of myself from say circa 2017. In this picture, I’m smiling, its summertime outside, I look put together, teal streak in my hair matches my dress, in front of the library where I was spending time working on wrapping up another degree-fun phone no less!
Things aren’t always what they seem. I had a hard time seeing this one.
Not because I was so in shape due to running so many miles (which was bore out of a bit of self hatred for myself at the time….) its because I was so very sick still at the time. I was suffering from an invisible disease that kills 88’000 at a minimum annually.
I was a full blown alcoholic in this picture. I had even been to treatment; so everyone assumed I hoped and prayed I was better.
I remember taking this picture and then sneaking alcohol into a public bathroom for consumption. I will spare you more details, because it just breaks my heart and I don’t want to trigger anyone. I had it ALL together though right. That day I had gone for a long run, gotten dressed to match my hair, enjoyed studying in the sun, planned ahead and more. I looked happy. I was so incredibly empty and in pain in the inside. That is what alcoholism is its pain.
I can remember for the longest time I often heard, “well you don’t look like an alcoholic.” I heard it in treatment, meetings, you name it. Guess what, its pain, its real, its raw and doesn’t discriminate. The pain of that girl from four years ago makes me wince. I just want to reach back in time and hug her.
The AA promises ask us to not regret the past, but not shut the door on it. This very much applies here. I can’t beat 2021 Kate up over the actions of 2017 Kate, however I have to remember and forever be vigilant. I could wake her up real quickly and throw away a lot of hard work if I wanted to. I also thank all of you who stood by and loved me at my worst back then-I know it couldn’t have been easy.
Its good to glimpse back to remember progress and remember what used to be. I took a walk that evening to return library books and stopped to take a similar photo in front of a similar building. I am older, tired after a long day, hair is dirty, not in as a great of physical shape, but sober and like myself so much more.
The pain and hiding is gone and I’m starting to see a new freedom.