“Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then...” a line from a Toby Keith song — should be the caption on this photo. Innocence.
This is me as a three-year-old in 1957. There it is. Now you know how old I am.
This photo was taken in the little cabin my grandparents built that stood on this property where our current house was built 40 years later. We are still in this house. In fact, my art studio is in this same location where I am standing in the photo. If this little girl were to walk forward about five steps and sit down, it would be where her future self is sitting and writing this blog right now. So cool to think about for me.
I am a painter, designer, photographer, and writer — creating in the studio of my dreams, built by the man of my dreams, on historic family property that we so gratefully acquired, living the American dream.
Wouldn’t you know it, I still became an alcoholic. What is up with that?
For me addiction and alcoholism is not about circumstance, it is about what our literature calls, “an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind.” I am allergic to alcohol and drugs, and have stinking thinking. When I put alcohol or mind-altering drugs in my body, I cut myself off from the sunlight of the Spirit. When I stopped that behavior, I still had my obsessive thinking. I had to learn new behaviors to replace the old, so I could function without substances. That’s where you come in — and others. I learned so much in meetings. We can’t do this alone. And, for me, without God.
I didn’t know this until I hit my bottom in 2004. I was a functioning alcoholic up until that point. We can go through life drinking and drugging and still go to school, get married (several times), have jobs, build houses — some of us losing it all before our bottoms — thankfully, I didn’t have to lose it all.
I didn’t know all of this was going to happen in my life standing there as a toddler in this photo. Sometimes I wish “I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.” but then, again, if I didn’t go through all of that and eventually hit my bottom, admit I was powerless, turn to God and start really living in 2004 — I would not be living the life I have been given right now.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
The beauty of this recovery thing is that we can start again at any moment by surrendering and becoming humble again.
Right now. You can do it at any moment.
I did and I am forever grateful to God for the second chance at a full life.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
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