Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

11 Years Sober!

Photo taken by first-time contributor, Meg. Meg is a recovered alcoholic who has discovered not only how glorious life can be, but that everyone can have access to such joy. She has found purpose in supporting people in, not only living lives they love, but in designing the very lives they want to be living. She is a Certified Life Coach and master communicator; an advocate for people’s voices to be heard. She publishes an advice blog, Take It from Meg. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, particularly outdoors, and especially on her bicycle.

About this photo: “I couldn’t get out of bed. I don’t think I wanted to. But I wanted to want to. I’d stumble into the bathroom and avoid the mirror. I couldn’t stand the sight of myself. I was bloated and pale, with dark and empty eyes. I couldn’t stand what I had become. I was once beautiful, though I’d be the last to let those words escape my lips. I had empty hopes that people who called me beautiful weren’t lying just to help me save face. I hadn’t liked myself for as long as I could remember. But this hatred, this loathing, this heartless disdain for myself; this was new.

I used to love to drink and get high. I felt free and alive. I felt empowered and powerful. I felt beautiful and witty. I felt charming and intelligent. A change occurred so slowly I hardly noticed it. I used to need to drink and get high. I couldn’t leave the safety of my bed without the glimmer of hope that oblivion brought me. I had reached what is called the jumping off point – I couldn’t imagine my life continuing on the way it was, and I couldn’t imagine what life would look like without the aid of drugs or alcohol.

With an infant depending on me, I knew I had to make a turn. The very direction of my life needed to shift if this kid was going to have even the slightest fighting chance. The turn I took was into the church basements of Alcoholics Anonymous. I learned there that I wasn’t bad, or horrid. I learned that I had a disease that had the best of me. I learned that there was a way out.

I began to make new choices. I did what I was told: I called sober women every day, I prayed every day, I went to an AA meeting every day, I got out of an abusive, alcohol-infused marriage. With a sponsor, I worked the 12 steps of AA as outlined in the “big book,” Alcoholics Anonymous. Life began to stop hurting. Then I started to feel good. Things got better. Life got better. I got better.

My last abuse of substance was March 13, 2002. Next week will mark 11 years of continuous sobriety. Simply writing those words brings tears to my eyes. I do not know what grateful enough looks like, but I strive for it. The blessings I have received are countless and, some days, unfathomable. I still deal with self-esteem and body issues, but they don’t plague me. And I no longer obsess over anything. Really, anything. I used to obsess over everything.

Today, I’m free. I’m free, to never again live that existence I once lived. I’m free to live my life, to LOVE my life! I’m free to experience my feelings without being overcome by them. I’m free to accept true love and acceptance from others. Today, I’m not only Meg, an alcoholic. I am Meg, a recovered alcoholic. I have recovered from the hopeless state of mind and body that is described in the big book. I have been raised from a mere existence, and set on my feet to walk among the living, being grateful for every breath I get to breathe.

Today that once infant child is an awe-strikingly wise and astute 11-year-old boy. To the picture that is life I’ve added his brother, now 3. I met, and married, a man who is one of the most spectacular and inspiring people I’ve ever known. That he chose me with whom he walks through life is extraordinary.

Everything I have today, everything I have to offer today, is a credit to Alcoholics Anonymous, its incredibly generous and loving members, the power greater than myself – whom I choose to call God – that I found there, and my willingness to do the work to get well, one day at a time.

*This picture was taken at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. The image is a perfect example of how my son and I have persevered, taking life on, becoming stronger and stronger.

____________________________________________________________

**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Like us on Facebook & Twitter. Follow below for e-mail notifications.

38 comments on “11 Years Sober!

  1. This rock is similar with Meteora in Greece, i wish i can think of taking pic like that 😀

    Like

  2. bentpeople
    March 4, 2013

    What an inspiring story and a spectacular picture to beautifully illustrate the journey you have been on. Well done to you sister… and well done to that beautiful son of yours for being pure love.

    Like

    • Meg
      March 4, 2013

      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      Best,
      Meg

      Like

  3. hrosez
    March 4, 2013

    What a powerful story. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Like

  4. chiptheduck
    March 4, 2013

    Great rock formation!

    Like

    • Meg
      March 4, 2013

      Garden of the Gods, CO. They’re amazing.

      Like

  5. Po' Girl Shines
    March 4, 2013

    Congratulations! That’s what I love about Jesus. He told me that I could do anything and he was right!

    Like

  6. bluebrightly
    March 4, 2013

    Fantastic that you have triumphed. I bet it does feel like you’ve lifted a great rock off your life, and I hope you’ve inspired someone to do the same.

    Like

    • Meg
      March 4, 2013

      Thanks so much! I hope so too!

      Like

  7. Vinnie W.
    March 4, 2013

    Glad to have known you before AND after, and taking part in both chapters of your life, Meg 🙂

    Like

  8. Becky
    March 4, 2013

    Congratulations to you on taking the steps to change your life from the inside out! You are amazing!

    Like

  9. seeker
    March 4, 2013

    Happy 11th year birthday. You second life and thanks be to God for giving you the courage one day at a time. God bless you and your family.

    Like

    • Meg
      March 4, 2013

      Thank you so much. Your words are very touching. Blessed be.

      Like

  10. words4jp
    March 4, 2013

    I am amazed at your strength. My father was an alcoholic and he drank everyday till the day he died. How I wish he had the strength, how I wish I could change him – I went to Al-anon, which was very beneficial in many ways. I am proud of what you accomplished – happy 11th birthday!

    Like

  11. Meg
    March 4, 2013

    Thank you! I can tell you that this was not my strength. I found and accepted strength – but this journey was not my doing; I showed up and did what I was told. Alcoholics are powerless over their disease. We have to be lifted from the depths, we can’t climb out ourselves. I’m sorry that you’re father died without knowing sobriety and without your knowing him sober. I know people who have found tremendous healing and support in the rooms of Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA). Blessed be on your journey. Best, Meg

    Like

  12. Meg
    March 4, 2013

    Reblogged this on Take It from Meg and commented:
    Some coaches like to keep their stories quiet, as to not become too engaged with their clients. However, I think that it can be empowering to know if one’s coach comes from somewhere broken. It gives hope and assurance that the coach isn’t just talking from a textbook, but really knows how hard life can be. This is a part of my story, as published by Broken LIght Collective. Feel free to peruse the rest of that blog – it’s got an incredibly powerful community.
    Blessed be,
    Meg

    Like

  13. gita4elamats
    March 4, 2013

    Inspiring story and fantastic pic!
    CONGRATS! 🙂

    Like

  14. luv2sex.info
    March 5, 2013

    Coming from a rich background, you will be able to empathize and provide better counseling to others. You have strong will !

    Like

    • Meg
      March 5, 2013

      I don’t know about a strong will, but I thank you for your kind words!

      Like

  15. April
    March 5, 2013

    You are an amazing woman, mother, and friend. You touch many hearts in all the ways that matter. The long journey you have taken and the strength needed to do so is truly seen in this photo.

    Like

  16. fgassette
    March 5, 2013

    Thank you for sharing a very powerful testimony that brings inspiration to others. Congratulations on a successful journey. Love the photo, very cleaver and great shot.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.
    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Like

  17. Meg
    March 5, 2013

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  18. luro97
    March 5, 2013

    Such a wonderful story! As a recovering alcoholic myself I take such joy in reading that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You are a true inspiration to me. Peace to you and much thanks.

    Like

    • Meg
      March 5, 2013

      We’re all in this together! Thank you for your kindness. Blessed be.

      Like

  19. wwwmama
    March 5, 2013

    so great! I love the line “I wanted to want to.” Inspiring!

    Like

    • Meg
      March 5, 2013

      Thank you! There have been many I wanted to want to’s in my life. What I love about them is their potential to become want to’s!

      Like

  20. A.J. Goode
    March 7, 2013

    What an inspirational story! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Like

    • Meg
      March 7, 2013

      Thank you so much for reading it 🙂

      Like

  21. Teepee12
    March 8, 2013

    Good for you! 8 years here!

    Like

    • Meg
      March 8, 2013

      That’s amazing! Congratulations!!!

      Like

Please Join the Conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Crisis Helpline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Badge For Contributors

%d bloggers like this: