Friday, September 13, 2013

Hoppy Hoppy Day

Today marks two years of sobriety for me and as I sat down with my rosary this morning I said thank you for the gifts I've been given in the last two years, a different gift for every bead. 54 in all and I could have kept going.  I won't bore you with the whole list, instead I'll just name one gift for each year of sobriety.

Remember that was my word for this year?  Today on my fb page I announced to the world, my world that is, that I have been sober for two years.  Funny how something that was so shameful has become such a source of pride for me. (The return of self-Pride was another gift I thanked the heavens for this morning, but I promised I wouldn't go on and on about all the gifts sobriety has handed me.  Again.)  I've received over 30 responses to my fb post this morning and 60-some likes.  I'm not bragging, but the fact that so many people took the time to say congratulations blew me away...and made me cry.  A few of them posted about how strong I am, one guy that I've known since grade school said, "That a girl! Congratulations, but it's not really surprising, you've always been able to achieve anything you set your mind to."

See, that's what I just couldn't understand all those years, it's what so many people don't understand..  I'd always been able to do what I needed to do, I'd always been the strong one that other people relied on.  Why the hell couldn't I control my drinking? I just wasn't trying hard enough.  I was weak.  And then I prayed for strength and it came when I had nothing left.  My own strength was never enough.  So thank you, God, and everyone else up there who pooled enough strength together to get me sober.  I owe you. I promise I won't waste it.

On to the next gift:

 I remember a day  four years ago when I had just moved to Chelem.  I thought Chelem was going to be the answer, my new life.  I was off the damn boat and nobody knew me, I could start all over.  But on this day, I found myself, yet again, wretched and hungover and so thoroughly disgusted with myself that I couldn't show my face.  My new housekeeper, Gabi and her father Felix, were at our house that day working, tip-toeing and speaking in hushed voices, I'm sure about their new employer who was laying out on the porch and couldn't even come in and talk to them.  "Who is this woman?", I imagined them asking each other. "Just another drunk gringo who thinks she is too good to talk to us?"   I wanted to tell them, "No, I'm not like that, this isn't the real me."  But it was.

Since then Gabi and I have grown to be very close friends and confidants, she knows all about my drinking and, now, my not drinking.  Felix, however, has remained reserved.  He meets us at our casa every time we return from up north and he always gives me a stiff and awkward hug, but he never gives me the kiss on the cheek that is customary down here.

Until last weekend.

Last weekend, the cap'n and I wandered across the highway to the little tienda that our neighbor Nancy runs.  Felix and his wife, Christina, were sitting on the verandah having a beer with Nancy and they asked the cap'n and I to join them.  The three of them had obviously had one or two already and were wearing the happy countenances of people that were finished with their work week and were enjoying a couple of beers with good friends.  We were honored that they asked us to sit down.  I sat sipping my coke-lite, as we all communicated via broken shards of language and hand gestures and laughter.  At one point, Christina, Felix's wife and Gabi's mother, turned to Nancy and said something about me.  I could catch that she was telling Nancy something that Gabi had said about me.  I look at Nancy, who was doing a comical job of playing translator for our little group, I haven't understood a word of her English in five years, and she said, "Christina say, that Gabi say, that Mary esta always..".at this point she took the index fingers of each of her hands and drew the corners of her lips up in a smile, "Hoppy! Hoppy!"

So Hoppiness and Strength are the two greatest gifts that sobriety has given me.

What more can a girl ask for?

P.S. Felix kissed me on both cheeks when I left that night. Just the icing on the cake.


  1. I was just thinking of you this morning. Congrats on your two years! And congrats on your kisses. :)

  2. How are a miracle. Happiest of birthdays, dear friend!

  3. What a beautiful story! One of my gifts of sobriety was meeting you. Happy soberversary my friend.


  4. Love it...congrats on your 2 years...what a wonderful accomplishment for a fab woman like you. Happiness and strength indeed...what a gift. And what a gift you are to us :)