by Meredith A. Brown
Founder of Pink Clouds & Hula Hoops
September 4, 2015
I’ve been looking in the mirror again. Sounds crazy to some but perfectly relatable to many, I’m sure. I was drunk for the greater part of 6 years (2008-2014) and looking in the mirror was not an option; it meant having to face the reality & longevity of my alcoholic absurdity.
Colossal weight gain (60 lbs) plus a bloat & swelling of the face and entire anatomy – only to be compared to a lifetime on cortisone. There was also an undistinguishable shade of gray to my skin and a salty film of sorrow, defeat and despair over my brown eyes once big, bright; full of adventure and enthusiasm for life.
This was not “party-girl” drunk; dancing on the bar; singing with the jukebox; bumps in the bathroom; sexy dress, high heels; kissing bandit drunk – of yesteryear. NO – what I am talking about is falling into a bottle, and laying in one’s own vomit & feces; existing in a rotation of blackouts, jails, hospitals and institutions – kind of drunk. Indeed, at that point, I was desperately praying for death and begrudgingly cursing God every merciless morning I awoke to sweats, chills, heaves – a seemingly life sentence of mental and physical anguish.
Until that one day, with the help of a God of my understanding & a few of his relentless earthly ambassadors; I clawed, crawled, climbed my way out to the prospect of a beautiful spiritual life at my fingertips…
I am being brutal & brave sharing this along with the companion mirroring mug shots of my malady because I do not believe I can help others or stay eagerly green (in the solution) unless I am able to remember & demonstrate how I, like many or most of our breed, ended up in the deepest darkest loneliest abyss of alcoholism with no way out.
There are millions who came before me who Came To Believe – and I followed. Suddenly – I find myself a comeback in the making.
For those who cringe in disbelief at my choosing to publish (a few of ) my abhorrent mug shots – please hear this: I dismantled scandalously & publically. These mug shots are of public record. My debate & design in all this?? I fell apart out loud (fog horn/megaphone loud) why should I not recover out loud?
A much prouder & more positive phenomenon.
Come back to life out loud ~ albeit with occasional stumbles & strays. We can make it out to the other side.
*Shameless Plug: That is where Pink Clouds & Hula Hoops and our Recover Out Loud mantra & merchandise comes from. The way many of us destroyed our lives and hurt our loved ones is soul-swallowing shame… but our comebacks; OUR against-all-odds comebacks are a testament to recovery and celebration of the human spirit.
I genuinely believe that every day is a second chance. If you have a pulse; you have hope. We make a mistake; we pay consequences, we do better. We fall; dust ourselves off & get back up. . . Every hurdle & obstacle has a silver lining; a lesson – a message to carry to others.
At Pink Clouds & Hula Hoops, our recovery shirts and sobriety gifts speak to these philosophies. “Love and Tolerance”; “Exactly Where I’m Supposed To Be” ; “You Are Not Alone”; “Suit Up & Show Up”…
Once upon a time – these sayings were annoying; trite; meaningless parroted soundbytes to me… Now they are the hallmarks by which I live.
Thanks for letting me share…
Please exit through the gift shop.