today is the first day i’m living addiction-free. today i’ve quit diet carbonated beverages, chocolate, and that relationship i’ve been trying to end since last october. today i’m free. at 9:08 am, this freedom comes easily. this freedom is easy at 9:08 am because none of the cravings have begun. the compulsion to drink diet-anything, to eat two dark chocolate hershey’s kisses, to call him hasn’t struck yet. i’m free. this new life, this new day, this new way of being feels easy. that easy feeling may not last into the afternoon, but this morning i’m free.
one day at a time, my ass. for me, for someone who has tried quitting my addictions almost as long as i’ve had them, it is moment-by-moment, and since this moment is easy, i’m going to savor it, sink into it, absorb it. i’m going to soak the easiness into my cells. i’m going to stretch farther. i’m going to paint my toenails a glittery magical lavender. i’m going to wear my new grown-up skirt. i’m going to meet a friend for coffee or tea or a glass of wine or anything on the menu that isn’t fizzy and full of diet artificiality. after that, i’m meeting my best friend in austin to tell her the truth i avoided telling her two weeks ago. i’m going to admit what she already knows, what she has known about me for many years, what i’ve also known but wasn’t ready to claim. i’ll hear myself say, “i’m addicted to him the way i was addicted to that other one and the one before that, the way i attach myself to people who need saving and then mistake their need for love, the way i get involved in dramatic relationships to avoid my grief and my creativity.” i’m going to give myself this gift. i’m going to ask for help, for love, for support. i’m going to let it be easy for as long as it is easy and when it gets hard, i’m going to cheer myself on. i’m going to talk outloud to myself in public if i need to hear my own voice in that gripping moment of compulsion say, “angel, you can do this. yeah, it sucks. yeah, it hurts. you can do this. you want this freedom more than anything. you deserve to be free.” and then i’m going to breathe. if i can remember, i’m going to breathe. if you want to text a reminder to me this afternoon, tonight, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, please remind me to breathe. tell me what i know is true: i can do whatever is required to be free because today i am stronger than i’ve ever been. today i’m exactly as strong as i need to be to accomplish what is mine to do. today is the day. today is the day i set myself free.