"He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."
Someone shared that quotation at the end of a speaker meeting a few weeks ago. I remember reading Agamemnon in high school and again in college, and both times that quotation struck me for its profound insight on the human existance.
When I reached a year of sobriety, everything collapsed beneath me. I lost my home, almost lost my car, dealt with death and the relapse of my closest friend in sobriety, and because I'm a glutton for misery, quit a job that was draining me emotionally. And once again I am forced to acknowledge my crippling depression and anxiety. Everything changed, and I felt that I was in the exact same place that I was when I was deepest in my alcoholism. Only now I was sober.
Someone who wasn't in the program told me that the life that I knew was gradually being erased as I continued in my recovery, so that I could build a new life from nothing and begin compiling a sober history. I must overcome a great deal of adversity in order to build the life that I deserve and have always sought.
Over the past couple of months, I've wanted to die, I've wanted to shut down, I've wanted to placate my misery by resigning myself to the fact that I don't deserve the life that I want. It wasn't until someone read those words that I realized that I am right where I am supposed to be, that if I overcome my present situation I just might find the happiness that I am seeking.
My first year of sobriety was all about staying sober. Now I know that I can stay sober. As I trudge along year two, I am forced to look at deep inside myself, recognize the growth of which I'm capable, and take systematic action to change old behaviors and harbored emotions. Above all else, I am forced to take responsibility for myself, something I have never done before.
I know who I want to be, but for the first time in my life I genuinely trust God in helping me get there. I am where I am for a reason, I just pray that I will become a better person for it.