sober Humbled changed
by Rebecca Rood, October 2022
So, if you got here by clicking my link, then you know that I have entered this competition with New Beauty Magazine called FabOver40. (https://votefab40.com/2022/rebecca-rood)
When I initially decided to enter, it was on a whim. I truly didn’t give it much thought, except that, “Wow, cool, this might be fun!” It just felt like a exciting new experience… and I’ve been all about that lately!
Some might say “Who does she think she is?? I mean, she’s so full of herself!”… and truthfully, that’s what I’ve been thinking too. So, I decided to do some real soul searching.
I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” “And who the heck really cares anyway!?”
So I decided to write, because I love to. And in the process of journaling, I’ve uncovered my drive behind everything I do now. As you can see (and maybe shocked to read the title), I got sober.
Over 5 years ago, I made a serious decision to NEVER drink alcohol again. I got sober once and for all. I had tried many times before without success. I guess I never made a solid commitment to myself up until that point. I had finally reached my limit of self- induced suffering!
Drinking was NOT serving me in any way. It was ONLY hurting my life and my health! For me, it was the “hamster wheel of insanity”! Maybe you would not have called me an alcoholic by “definition” and from the outside everything seemed, not only good, but amazing! I had it all! But I still found myself trapped in the cycle of addiction. It began innocently enough in my mid-20’s, but progressively got worse and really took hold of me in my early 40’s.
Through a series of events (which I won’t go into here) I realized that I was on a road to self-destruction. I had to do the hard things required to get sober and to finally start living!
So I searched for real help, because I needed it! Being accountable to others (perfect strangers) made all the difference. But, let me be frank – getting sober was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life! EVER! EVER!
The things I dealt with were all inside my own heart, mind and body. I couldn’t blame anyone else! But once I took full ownership of where I was, then I could reclaim full power over my life.
It took me one minute, one hour, one day, one week, one month and one year at a time. I shared my struggle with only a couple of people (my husband being #1). Talking about it was a huge part of fixing it (once and for all!). I understand that not everyone has the same struggle with drinking, but it was MY achilles’ heel.
My husband was amazing in every way! The process was painful for both of us, but his support made all the difference. He loved me before I stopped drinking and has loved me even deeper since! Our relationship is better now than I could have ever imagined. For this I am incredibly grateful. I understand that not everyone is so lucky – to have a supportive spouse; but I believe we all have someone that loves us enough to love us through difficult times. We just have to be humble enough to ask.
You might think “Wow! She’s really letting all the secrets out!? How embarrassing!” But NO, I am NOT embarrassed. I am NOT ashamed. I realize now that the shame is what held me captive in the first place! This is MY story, My testimony. None of us are perfect and I don’t strive for perfection, only steady improvement. Just human here!
If you would have asked me about it over 5 years ago, I would have been too humiliated to talk about or even admit that I needed help. I knew the stigma that goes along with any addiction and that scared me! But now, I understand, that ONLY in sharing REAL things with each other, can we make REAL progress.
I’m so grateful to have stayed sober and thankful that I have zero desire to drink. I NEVER believed that would be possible. At the same time I am fully aware that it’s ONLY been 5 years…. and by the grace of God and my own vigilance, will I stay on this good path for the rest of my life!
My life has become so much fuller, on so many levels. I look forward to each new day and the possibilities it brings!
When I finally made that decision to free myself on 7/3/17, it began a cascade of confidence! I discovered that I CAN DO HARD THINGS!
All kinds of pursuits and desires began to pour from my heart!
I got serious about my health and mental wellness, because I wanted to be a better version of myself for me and for the people I loved! I wasn’t doing this when I was drinking. Not even close! Instead, I was trapped in a 24-hour loop of “crazy”. (Even if no one else knew it. Can we say “functional”?) Sorry, I digress…
Getting healthy made every cell in my body feel clean and I could embark on this new journey with a clear mind. I started craving physical strength and fortitude because I know that this will allow me to pursue ANYTHING my heart desires! Life requires much courage, so I began building that one decision at a time. You see, I have so much lost time to make up for! (Sad to say but at least a solid decade of my life)
So my goal here, in this blog, is to share some positivity of what making REAL change can look like. Here are some examples of good things I did after getting sober…
SPIRITUAL ~ Once I got sober, my relationship with my Creator became even deeper – because I need Him. I am on a daily journey with Him and have a real personal relationship. It goes far beyond any of man’s boundaries. The Lord is so merciful and loving!
RELATIONSHIPS ~ My personal relationships have become even deeper, because I’ve learned how to be AUTHENTICALLY me, without any other influences. This has been liberating to say the least! I want to continue to work on all my very special bonds.
MUSIC ~ Even though I had been involved in music/singing from an early age, I never had any formal training. So I enrolled in music lessons for a couple of years. I learned how to play the acoustic guitar. (Thank you John!) I had opportunities to play a few open mic nights and special events (which was way out of my comfort zone; but I did it anyway) What an amazing experience!
SONGWRITING ~ I started writing music again (something I had dabbled with in my younger days) It feels magical to create something from nothing. I entered my songs into several songwriting contests in Nashville. But I never won, placed or even got noticed – that is ok! It was in the “trying new things” that was the real win for me! This is a skill and gift that I plan to cultivate the rest of my life.
HOMEMAKING ~ This may sound weird, but I’ve developed a sincere love of homemaking. Seriously! I actually enjoy cleaning and doing laundry! I have “reframed” a big part of my purpose here on earth. I try to meditate on good things, while blessing our “nest”. It honors my husband, my home and our family. Finding joy in the seemingly mundane has become a reward in itself. (I’m learning that your perspective IS everything)
VOLUNTEERING ~ If you know me, then you know how much I LOVE animals (of all sizes). Living on a small farm now, I felt that it was only natural to gain experience with horses. So I started volunteering at a local horse rescue. It has become the highlight of my week! I’m learning proper horsemanship and sound equestrian practices. Plus I get to love on horses of all sizes! Win-Win! The horse world has ignited a true passion I didn’t know I had! There is something so intrinsically honest about a horse. They can read us for who we are to our core. Our body language and inner spirit is all they see. You cannot lie or hide from a horse. Go ahead and try.
WELLNESS AND NUTRITION ~ I’ve been studying scientific advances in longevity and been going on deep dives “all things nutrition”. The human body is miraculous! It’s design is perfect, if we nourish it and eliminate toxins that cause it harm. I’m so grateful for this temple. If I have any influence on how I age (and I don’t just mean looks), then I want to do it! I have seen first hand, the suffering of those who haven’t embraced wellness earlier on. My humble goal, is to live a long and healthful life and die quickly at a very old age.
NEW DRIVING SKILLS ~ I’ve learned how to drive a motorcycle (ok, sort of. It’s a Honda SuperCub – street legal of course). This was a little scary for me at first, but exhilarating! (and always with a helmet on!)
SPORTS ENTHUSIAST ~ I have gained so much understanding of the game of football! American Football. (and hubby loves that!). I can actually sit and watch any team (college or pro) play and really enjoy the game! It all makes sense to me now.
BOOKCLUB ~ I have been reading books like crazy and started a fun bookclub with some amazing women in my area! I have made SO MANY NEW FRIENDS this way! They have blessed me more than they know! (Girls, you know who your are)…
WEIGHTLIFTING ~ I’ve also been strength training with my husband for almost a year now and I love it! (It’s incredible to see what the human body is capable of when it’s pushed TO DO HARD THINGS!
These are just a few endeavors (nothing incredibly earth-shattering). But I know, in my heart that I would NOT have perused any of them, unless I had given up drinking. Drinking dulled my zest for life and it would have surely ruined me in the long run.
So, by now you are probably saying, “Shut up big head! Stop bragging!”
But I promise you, I AM NOT writing this to show off…. I feel compelled to share with you, what IS TRULY POSSIBLE when you make real positive change.
My positive change back in 2017 has been life altering!
My struggle was REAL; it was brutal, but it was my GIFT! I got to the other side, to not only talk about it, but to thrive! I am certain that it was my second chance at really living!
BOTTOM LINE: I had to deal with some very real and embarrassing crap (for a while) to discover that I am MORE than capable. But I had to do THE HARD THINGS first.
Doing the HARD THINGS led me to find my new confidence and passion for living!
I found the freedom to fail! I found a whole new humility, knowing that we ALL have weaknesses. I have found a tremendous amount of empathy for others. I understand that we ALL are works in progress. None of us are finished!
So what the heck does a “beauty contest” have anything to do with it!? Right??
Well, if for no other reason, than for me to share MY humble story with you.
My very PERSONAL testimony of what IS POSSIBLE for all of us!
So as I continue to build my own stamina for taking risks and trying new things – this FabOver40 competition is just the NEXT new thing for me! (https://votefab40.com/2022/rebecca-rood) I’m trying something else out of my comfort zone! I’m putting myself out there. Why not?
YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS TOO!! Your struggle may not look like mine did. Alcohol is probably not your issue. But being a human, I know that we all have something we struggle with. Only you know if something is holding you back from being your best.
You CAN be bold enough to take a chance and make a change! (I did) You CAN fall down and get up again! (I did) You can be wrong and admit it (I did). I discovered that radical humility was purifying for my soul!
My hope is that you read this and you are encouraged to know that YOU already have everything you will ever need!
And maybe you’ll try new things? Even if it’s just something small. Only you know what effort it takes for YOU. Baby steps…
Truthfully, I don’t expect to win the FabOver40 contest or even come close. There are so many spectacular women in this contest and they all have beautiful stories to tell!
But, if ONLY ONE PERSON reads this and is inspired then it’s all worth it for me! No one asked me to share this, I am coming forward on my own.
Most people probably didn’t make it this far and that is ok. It’s not meant for them.
If you read this…
YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!
NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF (I DON’T)
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOURSELF (I WON’T)
You can develop your self-reliance, your self-confident, one choice at a time.
Thanks for your support.
I will support you, dear friend – ALWAYS.
Final Note: I am aware that every family member, every friend, every neighbor, every co-worker and every stranger of mine AND my husband’s may read this. He and I have discussed it in great detail. We both feel that the MESSAGE far outweighs any risk of embarrassment.
Like I said, I AM NOT embarrassed or ashamed. This is MY humble testimony. Thank you so very much for reading….. Keep me in your prayers and I’ll keep you in mine.