I’m sitting in traffic on Pacific Coast Highway gazing at the ocean and remembering the dark days that came with the city of Santa Monica from 2010 to 2012. I loved it here during that time. I was a tiny little speck among millions of people. No one knew my name, and I could slip into any one of thousands of liquor stores that are on every corner in Los Angeles. I was anonymous and could dive into my oblivion, and then spend my nights at that wretched apartment that sat high above the Pacific Ocean  and overlooked the Santa Monica Pier. It was such a dichotomy. A beautiful view from a cluttered, dark mess. And there I would stand, looking out of the window with my best friend vodka and I would think how great life was. I enjoyed being unknown in my last years of drinking, so I could be as out-of-control as my body demanded. When I drive through this area today (three months sober at the time of this writing), the familiarity of those dark and seedy days comes over me, and I have a quick sense of going back there. As crazy as it is, it sounds dangerously inviting. It’s just a quick thought. I let it pass through my mind as quickly as it entered.

It’s cloudy today as I head north on PCH.  Yet, in the far horizon, set against the ocean, there is a ray of light. That is my sign that God is with me.  I am creating new memories in this beautiful Southern California landscape. I am strong today. I asked for God’s guidance. I took care of myself today. I started my day with a morning meditation and asked for God to give me power throughout the day and to let me do his will. I told people where I was going and the struggle I might encounter. I had a plan. During the drive up here, I talked on the phone with women in recovery. I had shared with my sponsor my fear of traveling through Santa Monica today, and she sent me love and strength via a text message at just the perfect moment. God guided me in all of these actions today. I asked for his help, and he gave it in so many ways. When I open my eyes to see the light, all of the little miracles shine bright.

I am now making my way through Topanga Canyon. The clouds have disappeared and there is sun and light. The sun pours through the crevices in the canyon, and there is so much light and beauty. God holds me in the sunlight of his spirit, and I witness it.  My moment of darkness was short and fleeting. But when you are in the grips of it, it seems like it may last forever. This is an example of success for me, gratitude for God and another day sober.