The following is an excerpt from Sarah Hepola’s gut-wrenching account of the challenges she coped with while trying to kick her alcohol addiction:
I have been thinking about that closet recently. Friends talk to me about changes they are trying to make, and how they are slipping, and I watch them lash themselves for it. They say things like: I’m never going to change.
What I wish I had known when I was drinking in that ridiculous closet is that change requires failure. It requires screw-ups and a mouthful of grass and shins covered in bruises and I’m sorry, but I don’t know any other way around that. It also requires time and patience, two things I don’t particularly like, because I was raised in the school of epiphany and instant gratification, which is why I loved alcohol, because it was fast, immediate, pummeling.
But change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape. I believed I could not quit drinking, that people would not like me sober, that life would be drained of its color — but every ounce of that was untrue. Which made me wonder what else I believed that was untrue. What other impossible feats were within my grasp.
Read her complete Salon article here.
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