Your Bravest Day

 

“Start over, my darling.  Be brave enough to find the life you want and courageous enough to chase it.  Then start over and love yourself the way you were always meant to.”  -Madalyn Beck

 

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?  Think about it.

The first and most obvious one for me is I got sober.  It didn’t feel courageous at the time, though.  I was fucking desperate and dying, it was my only option if I wanted any chance at life again.  So if I want to dig a little deeper, sobriety wouldn’t be my first answer to the bravest thing I’ve ever done.

At my first rehab center, some cute friend of mine came to visit.  He asked me what I wanted for my life and I answered with a heavy sigh.

“I just want a simple Christian life with a family.”

Right then, in that moment, I meant it.  I was sick of chaotic living, and I was ready for peace.

Over the years that followed, I married that friend, and life was anything but simple.  Wishful thinking can’t defeat the beast of addiction any better than willpower.  Trainwrecks and rollercoasters found their way into car pool and soccer mom living until I couldn’t go on.

Starting over, what a wonderful gift.  I learned I can finally just be myself.  There’s something to say about falling to the very bottom.  You have nothing to lose after that.  Maybe it’s a fearlessness, an acceptance, an appreciation of life.  I’m not exactly sure.  But if someone asked me today what the bravest thing I’ve ever done was, I’d have to say,

“I decided to forgive myself.  To not worry about what other people thought of me and walk away from the ‘box-mom’ club.  To go ahead and be who I wanted to be.”

That’s fucking brave.  And sometimes scary, but always worth it.

So how about you?  What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?