Freedom

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” Martin Luther King’s words changed the world, his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech being one of the most moving and inspirational orations of the twentieth century. Freedom was the end game of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s in America – freedom simultaneously being one of the most taken for granted rights, and one of the most precious, depending on whether you are lucky enough to enjoy it or not.

Freedom can arise in many guises; freedom from imprisonment, torture, pain and suffering, from acts of cruelty that are inflicted upon us by others. But it can also mean a release from our own actions, the gift of being able to live free from the restrictions of addictive and destructive behaviours. Wayne Dyer, self-help author and motivational speaker, once said, “Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose. Anything less is a form of slavery”.

And isn’t that precisely what addiction is? A form of slavery that holds us back and restricts us, maintains its control over our every thought and action and response? We are not ourselves when we are operating under the cloud of addiction. We are not making free choices when those choices are governed by patterns of thought that rule our body and mind.

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When we spend our money on alcohol, we are not free. When we show ourselves up and act in a manner not true to the real us inside, we are not free. When we cannot look in the mirror because we despise the person we have become, we are not free. When we are unable to be the friend or parent or partner that we are capable of being, we are not free. When we destroy our liver and brain and heart through excessive alcohol consumption, we are not free. When we put ourselves in dangerous situations, walking home alone late at night, drunk and out of control, we are not free.

Conquering addiction means granting ourselves freedom. It means we are able to choose how we behave. It means we know exactly what or who will make us happy. It means we fulfill our potential as a friend, parent or partner. It means we possess peace of mind. It means we know ourselves inside and out. It means we no longer spend money on the things that damage us. It means we take care of our bodies and minds and give ourselves the best chance at a long and happy life. It means we have dignity and self-respect. It means nothing or nobody exercises control over the person we are, apart from ourselves. It means remembering the finer details of every day and every night. It means being free to like the person we are.

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Freedom is a precious gift, and being free from addiction is incredible. This state of existence, being released from the walls that once held you back and kept you lying facedown in the dirt, can feel like a rebirth. A fresh start. A chance to see life for what it is; amazing, in all of its complexities and its banalities.

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10 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. free is exactly how I’ve described my sobriety. I have 27 days, if I make it through today it will be my longest stretch of sobriety. every time I’ve tried to stop in the past, I felt absolutely miserable, like I was torturing myself. this time it feel different, the moment I said “no more”, I finally felt free. I visualized the chain that held me to that wine bottle breaking and the bottle floating away. this time I feel great, i’m happy about my choice to stop, and for once, I feel free. I haven’t felt this feeling in years and I plan to hold onto it and run with it!

    • delphinium123 says:

      I hope it continues to go well – I, too, am embarking on what I hope will be a permanent liberation from alcohol. Sites like this are very helpful, and comments like yours help reduce the sense of isolation and failure. xo

  2. Patti says:

    Great thought Lucy! Freedom from alcohol is the best gift I ever gave myself and going strong. Blogs like yours give hope to those still chained to the bottle. Anyone can choose to be free at anytime. Help from those if us who’ve been there is that pay it forward opportunity.

  3. CycleSal says:

    Great blog. Freedom is the word I chose to have engraved on my ‘1 year AF bracelet’ – it is the most succinct way to describe what being AF means to me. Precious, priceless freedom.

  4. JC says:

    Fabulous post Lucy! You’ve described EXACTLY how I’m feeling now I’m almost 2yrs AF! Although I’m no longer a member of Soberistas, I was an active participant for over a year, starting a few weeks into my sobriety, and I know for sure there’s nothing quite like the non judgmental advice & support readily available on there, which without any shadow of a doubt helped me to fully embrace the challenge of sobriety after over 40yrs of boozing! I now rejoice in my new found freedom just as you’ve so eloquently described! Thank you! X

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