As I start writing this one of the guys in my office says, "determination and forgiveness are the keys to success." I could not agree more. Life is full of obstacles to overcome and mistakes to forgive. Mistakes from others and from within that are in need of forgiveness, or we will surely drink and use again. I have learned through my program in the last nine months that I drank and used drugs to mask the pain of grudges I held on to and mistakes I have made that I could not forgive myself for. Forgiving myself for the things I have done to myself and others has been the hardest part by far. This is a lesson that I have to continually repeat. The people I love will make mistakes and so will I. Today it is how I decide to handle those wrong doings that will keep me serene and emotionally sober and off drugs and alcohol. Recently I have gone through an experience with someone special to me... It was abrupt and my feelings we hurt and I reacted poorly, leaving the aftermath of remorse, guilt and shame. Of course to start, I should have known better. There is a history of events that has occurred that I should have seen this coming. Love blinds this druggie terribly. I was optimistic and wanted to believe that things were different now. There lies the remorse. The guilt and shame come from how I handled the situation. I should have been smarter and played with my logic, but instead, those old emotions came out with a whole load of new ones.. Immediately I lashed out and said some horrible things. Things I have never said to anyone that I have ever said I love you to. The rage that came from my birthday trip being cancelled on me and being told by email sent me into a true frenzy and I lost control of my thoughts and the send button. Sure I can rationalize my behavior having been hurt by this person before and been pushed to the brink. And that is exactly what I did at first. Rationalized like a true alcoholic, which my sponsor was quick to point out. Now that all those hurtful words are out and I am the bad guy, I would take them back if I could. I cant, but I cannot let the guilt and shame drive me back to where I was nine months ago either. This is where the forgiveness comes in. She did what she did and I know why. Do I like it? No. Do I have to accept it and face the reality that the relationship is finally over? Yes! Do I have to forgive her? Absolutely. I have no desire to hold on to the pain that is in my heart right now. It will not be easy but I can only pray for her and share with God my willingness to forgive and forget. I also have to forgive myself. I screwed up. I said the worst things I have ever said any person that I have truly loved and tonight I am having a hard time with it. It has brought out a fear and anxiety in me that I have not felt in months. So right now, immediately, if not sooner I have to give myself a break. Even though I feel like I have failed her today, I know that is not the truth. I have to remember feelings are not facts. Being the alcoholic that I am, I cannot define this relationship in one moment. I screwed up and I forgive myself. This pain will take time to heal, but I can no longer hold grudges against my self either. Tonight, I had the privilege of hearing my dear friend Tiffany tell her story. It was a story of truth, experience, strength and hope... It was her truth... Which in inspires me stick to mine and share this with whomever reads it. I am human, I make mistakes, I will hurt, I will forgive, and I will be okay.