Mom, writer, student, yoga teacher, and constantly in pursuit of new adventures. Columnist at elephant journal.
Keeley Milne is continuously amazed by this crazy adventure we call life. She is most content when with her son Liam, a pile of books, or in the woods—and best yet all three at once. She loves to run marathons in other countries, go on solo adventures, and drink a perfect cup of coffee. She is a voracious reader and loves to write, listen, and laugh. Keeley makes her home in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she is completing an English degree, going for runs in the coulees, and hugging Liam as much as she can, every day. You can connect with Keeley on her writer's page at Facebook or on her website.
Guilt and regret are the ugly Hyde to the Jekyll of sobriety, even years in. With new awareness, we relive past experiences---or in many cases bemoan what might have been. Pain and sorrow previously numbed by a drug or drink of choice is glaringly present, and strikes unpredictably---in the midst of a family gathering; alone, late at night; smack in the middle of an important work presentation, or during a particularly deep yoga class.
I am awake late again tonight, longtime sleep warrior that I am. Sleep and I, we have not yet found a way to comfortable exist together. I am forever hopeful. Bouts of insomnia tend to make one feel isolated, cut off from the world, so I try, these dark hours, to think of all the other people awake right now.
I celebrated a year of sobriety in February. That first year is selfish in many ways--and necessarily so. After all, without sobriety, I am no good to anyone--to my child, my family, even strangers. In fact, I'm the flat out opposite of good, without sobriety. But now, almost 14 months in, there is space in my life to help others.
As an addict, self-sabotage becomes a comfort-zone, failure a safe place to be. Predictability is key -- we know what will happen when we drink or screw up, and while it is painful, at least it is familiar. With success, I feel completely unprepared.
What I do not regret is this: my struggle shaped me, and changed me, and helped me become the person I am now. That is, a woman that seeks progress, not perfection. A woman who knows that no matter how far down you go, you can come back, a mother that has earned her way back into this precious boy's life, and learns every day how to parent better.
If I'm truly listening to my body, I think quite often it is telling me to lay the hell off. To enjoy the moments in the sun as much as the run itself. To remember that my yoga practice is about what feels good for my body, right now.
"Stop the car!" My son's shout panicked both my friend, driving, and I, fearful we were about to collide with something or someone. Liam pointed out the window at a women who had just walked past us, struggling to carry a laughably insurmountable load of grocery bags and boxes. "I need to help her," said Liam. And he did.
I don't want to tell you the story of my drunkenness. You've heard it before, or seen it before, or a version of it. It is not unique. I don't have a tale to weave for you of bizarre miracles and angels and heavenly choirs. I want to tell you of simple amazement. I fell, upwards. I fell into a life, once I stopped shaking and twitching and seeing things and vomiting. This has not just been a sobriety lesson, but a life one. At school, with loved ones, even (perhaps especially and most simply) on my writing journey -- honesty, being open and willing to accept some guidance goes a long way.