I wandered over to the beach this afternoon, whilst waiting for my washing to finish its cycle in the launderette. The seafront in Eastbourne has seem me in many physical and mental states, drunk, stoned, lost, depressed and suicidal. Most recently though, it has seen me walking hand in hand with my new partner. Two men with faces fixed in matching ear to ear grins, glowing from the warm high of that new relationship buzz.
Once again, I am having one of those wonderful periods of time where I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude for the life I have today. I look at this picture, which I shared for #transformationtuesday and I remember the pain I was in. I could never have imagined the life I have today. Which is different in every way possible, largely thanks to the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I remember sitting in my first Alcoholics anonymous meeting and hearing, ‘The Promises’ read out.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through…”
I am 7 years sober, I feel I have areas in my life that still need work. My gender transition and my career for example. My life isn’t perfect, I live hand to mouth and my Mum is slowly and painfully being stolen from us by vascular dementia. However, despite these things, I have a truly wonderful life in which I am content and proud. I am not even hallway through and yes, I am more than amazed.
In these seven years, I have discovered the man I truly am and stepped forward into that identity with clarity and grace. I have unashamedly embraced living an honest life, even when that honesty meant facing difficult facts about myself. Where once I would run from emotions, using alcohol to numb their razor-sharp edges, I now lay myself bare to even the most painful of emotions.
I have done this because every time I face something rather than run, I am rewarded with a new phase of development. A growth in self-knowledge, a deeper level of self-awareness, and an even deeper sense of contentment and faith in life’s process of unfolding.
Facing my doubts about my sexuality, and my fears about relationships has been a long and confusing road. I am now being rewarded with the arrival of a wonderful man in my life who brings me so much joy. Alongside that, being with him has given me even greater confidence in my gender identity and a much deeper understanding of my sexual attraction.
To think I once feared change, and now I welcome it, even when those changes are the least expected. In fact, those changes are the best.