I am 21 years old. I have 1,018 days clean and sober. In the past 2 1/2 years on Kaua'i, I have been a Yoga teacher, head of social media and advertising, a chef, a sailor, a barista, a maid, a babysitter, a surfer, a girlfriend, a friend, a niece, an inspiration, and a dissapointment. I have grown from a young girl to a young woman. I have had some of the worst and best days of my life here, and I'm stronger and wiser because of it.
On the 16th of October I will fly away from Kaua'i! For how long, I'm not sure. First I'm going to Washington to spend time with my mom and my family there, and then I plan on heading back to Florida.
This is a big decision, I know, and I have had moments of joy and excitement, and moments of intense fear and doubt. But ultimately I know this is what I want and what I believe is best for me.
When I moved here, I had many expectations. I wanted to live at my auntie's house until it was time to get married to a magical, perfect Hawaiian guy. I thought I was going to be apart of a wonderful place where there was no gossip or criticism or control freaks. It hasn't quite turned out that way, and I have felt a lot of sadness and bitterness about this. People who I thought were like my family and would be in my life forever, are no longer a part of it... Jobs I thought I would enjoy turned out to be less than satisfactory...
Until recently, I had this idea that if I just tried hard enough, everything would go exactly how I wanted. This past summer has showed me that isn't true. Sometimes things aren't going to go the way I imagined them, and really all I can do is trust my Higher Power that everything is still working out beautifully and perfectly.
I had been so set that Kaua'i was the only place for me - the only place that I could be safe and happy. The belief of a child. I'm breaking down those old opinions and beliefs so my life can move forward, because I don't think my path ends here.
Maybe I'll fall in love with the Pacific Northwest and decide to stay there. Maybe I'll go to college in Florida, or maybe I'll move to the Carribbean (that's definitely on my list for the next 3-4 years.) I'm an adult now, and not only that, I'm a sober one too!
I've certainly had thoughts lately about drinking. It's not that I want to, I've just been realizing that I'm about to leave Kaua'i - the place where I have lived almost all of my sober life! What if I leave here and suddenly I don't want to be sober anymore? What if I can't stay clean anywhere else? So in my head I started going through what it would actually be like to drink. The burning stomach, dizziness, guilt, fear, loss of control... the total lack of clarity. I honestly feel a repulsion when I think about drinking because I have fallen completely in love with the mental and emotional clarity I have. It's sometimes painful to have this kind of clarity, but it has also given me a strong sense of my self, of who I am.
I realized that this is what I was afraid of losing. I'm not afraid to leave Kaua'i, and I'm no longer afraid of people, places and things like I used to be when I was 18. I am afraid to lose the brilliance and color that my life has become imbued with. I am afraid of losing the ability I've developed to laugh at myself. I'm afraid I somehow need to stay on Kaua'i to keep a sense of me - Katherine - something separate and wonderful and safe.
But for me, my sobriety and recovery is what keeps my connection to my Self, my Higher Power, strong and bright.
Drinking and using is always an option. But so is staying sober. I can't speak for tomorrow, but I know today I can and will be practicing the 12 Steps to the best of my ability. That's all I can really do. That and pray.