ARIZONA DAWN 21537_241383129456_666264456_3153678_4750610_N_crop This may or may not be clear to people, but I have two birthdays. My bellybutton birthday on December 29th and another, July 22nd, the anniversary of the day that I got sober. It has been over a decade since I turned away from the need to numb out my emotions. What a journey so far!

I remember in the beginning the sheer agony of being in my own skin. Every reflection of me was like a million shards of "my" broken mirror slicing through my very soul. My wounded past was overpowering, and I was afraid to move. I was a walking, breathing bomb of fire...explosion...then ashes. A pile of rendered dust. Chaos surrounded me, threatened to suck me back. Fear was very angry.

Then Grace came. A tiny pin-point of light. Warm hands held mine softly in a circle and said "pray". I took steps that measured nano-seconds, then seconds, then minutes, and hours...and I didn't die. I began to have moments of clarity and peace, and I clung to them as my armor for when fear would try to return.

Grace continued to come. My prayers grew stronger, and I learned the word faith. The light, soft, pure, resilient, wrapped around me. Nonthreatening and tiny at first, it was stronger, more beautiful than I ever imagined...and the scary things slowly lost their shape and disappeared. I learned the word trust.

Grace remains. The events of my past haven't changed. I have. I have turned the glass over, and it is more than half full. It is in fact, many times brimming over. In my wildest dreams I never thought I'd get to be part of a better day for others, but here I am. Today, I have happiness, purpose, joy and love in my life. I have learned that the light is God.