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Old 11-02-2018, 12:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A for Effort

Two years sober today and what have I learnt? That life isnít meant to be easy. It never was and never will be easy. For anyone. And thatís kind of the point. This isnít eutopiaÖ. maybe one day weíll all end up in our own personalised versions of paradise but right now this is where we are. And as soon as I accepted that life isnít meant to be easy, it became a little Öwell, easier.

Life sends everyone tests. Everyone. Without exception. Rich, poor, old, young, drunk, soberÖ. everyone has to sit the tests. Some of the tests are life-changing, some of them are fairly trivial but they keep coming. And theyíre always going to keep coming. When I was drinking, I wasnít even turning up to sit half my tests. I knew the tests were going on but I always had an excuse for why I wasnít giving them the attention they required. Some seemed too hard for meÖ some didnít seem worthy of my timeÖ and I always had this misplaced expectation that despite doing none of the necessary work, I somehow deserved to pass. I felt cheated every time I failed another one of lifeís tests. I felt sorry for myself and convinced myself that my tests were just that little bit harder than everyone elseís.

Two years ago, I sat in my car, hit my rock bottom and considered killing myself. I didnít kill myself that day. Instead I stopped drinking. And the tests kept coming. Iíd love to be able to say that sobriety propelled me straight to the top of the class; that I started passing every test with flying colours... but this is real life and the truth is, sometimes my performance still leaves a lot to be desired. But I turn up for every test now and I seem to have developed a level of pride. I evaluate my performance after each test and think of ways that I can do better next time. And the great thing about life is that it doesnít seem to expect perfection from me. Two years ago, life slowly seemed to notice my new attitudeÖ my 100% attendance at every test, my determination to try my bestÖ and I slowly started to notice my rewards.

Physical rewards came first. Better sleep led to increased energy which led to motivation to exercise which resulted in a leaner, fitter body. My skin became clear, my eyes sparkledÖ people started commenting on how well I looked. Then I focused some of my new energy on my performance at work. My mind became sharper and my concentration and memory improved. My boss noticed and I was promoted, cleared my debt and started saving. The tests kept coming Ö but so did the rewards. And now the rewards were differentÖ not so obvious to other people but life-changing for me. I started discovering who I am as a person, what makes me tick. Iíve learnt that too much negativity hurts my soul. Iíve cut toxic people out of my life and instead focus all my energy on the people who bring me joy. Life has become simpler. I recognise what is important and what isnít. Iíve learnt to set boundaries and how to understand and control my anger. Meditation and yoga have helped me face the reasons why I drank the way I did and in so doing, Iíve learnt to value myself, my opinions and my core beliefs. One of the most important things Iíve learnt is that I provide validation for myself now so thereís no need to seek it elsewhere. And thatís when I started to become brave. Iím a person who stands up for what she believes in now and whilst this is not always easy, there is no greater feeling than knowing I am being my true, authentic self. Perhaps the best reward of allÖ so farÖ is that Iím now physically, mentally and emotionally present when life sends tests for my children which means Iím always available to offer them guidance and support. Iím able to share what I have learntÖ that self-pity, regret and resentment are no help when it comes to sitting lifeís tests. Positivity, compassion and gratitude Ė thatís what is needed to pass.

And in between the tests, Iíve started to notice something about this place I find myself living. It may not be eutopia but there is beauty everywhere. The moon, stars, mountains, oceans, trees, sunshine, humour, joy, love, people on this site Ė you donít need to look very far to find something incredible. And these days Iím filled with wonder and enthusiasm and excitement and gratitude for my life. It may not be perfect but itís my life and I love it and I want to do everything I can to protect it. And if that means turning up for every test from now on and trying my best, thatís exactly what Iím going to do.

Two years sober today and to celebrate Iíd like to invite you to sit a test with me today. Itís a special test designed specifically for people like us. Are you ready? Letís do this. Letís not drink today. Because as long as we pass that test, there really is no limit to what we can go on to achieve.
Sober since 2 November 2016
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations Kenton

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Old 11-02-2018, 02:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh Kenton darling I've read your post 3 times just to allow the glow of your words to wash over me before I start my day. My wonderfully ordinary day.
So so proud of you Kenton. You're right. Life will continue to be life and dish out it's ups and downs but we're here! We're stepping up every day!
Have a wonderful birthday sweetheart! ❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What an absolutely lovely post.


And a huge congrats on 2 years
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Beautiful. Just the words I needed to hear today kenton. Thank you so much. And congratulations on your milestone.
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Old 11-02-2018, 04:48 AM   #6 (permalink)

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Fantastic post thank you for sharing!!
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:16 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Great post.

Congrats on 2 years!

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Old 11-02-2018, 05:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Amazing post and congratulations! I love how you frame all the life circumstances as tests- and how we have to sit for them to really live.

Happy start to your third year!

"Sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland
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Old 11-02-2018, 06:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What a well-written post and so insightful.

Huge congratulations on passing that most-important daily test 730 times thus far, kenton. I'm so happy for you.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.
~ Isak Dinesen
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:13 AM   #10 (permalink)

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Congratulations on two years sober!!!
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:11 PM   #11 (permalink)

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That was an amazing post! Thanks!
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm so glad you're doing well, Kenton. And, it really does help to accept that life is not meant to be easy.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson
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Dee74 (11-03-2018)
Old 11-02-2018, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)

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Your post is a carbon copy of everything I have gone through in the past twenty or so years and now continue to. Great stuff. Itís amazing to me how similar many of us have acted in the past and how great the recovery is. Thanks. Congrats btw.
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Old 11-03-2018, 02:52 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Way to go! Couldnít have said it better myself. Keep it up!
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