Friday, March 8, 2013

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.

Ever since I was younger, I have always looked up to my older brother, Beau. He always wanted to take care of me, or “Missy Moo”, as he called me. I called him Brother Bear, and we were as close as any siblings could be. He was my best friend. Progressing from a playmate who taught me the best hiding places for hide-in-seek, to a protective teenage brother who gave me rides to school, Beau was always there for me whenever I needed him. After Beau went to college, I would frequently visit him. It soon became clear that the partying lifestyle had gotten the best of him. I suddenly found our roles reversed, and it was me who was taking care of him. Eventually, Beau went to a rehab facility. This was a scary time for Beau and my family, and I questioned whether or not it would be good for him, or if rehab would even work. 

It was a chilly spring Saturday morning when my mom, dad and I arrived to Saint Chris for the first time to visit. I looked around at the grounds, surprised at what I saw. When my parents told me the week before that Beau was going to rehab, I pictured a metal building with hallways filled with flickering, yellow tinted lights. I didn’t expect the large oak trees, old house-like buildings filled with character, or laughter coming from the yard.

It was clear just after a week of Beau being there that something was changing in him. He was becoming alive again, and had the light in his eyes that I missed seeing. I was so proud of him already, but I still was worried. People relapsed all the time. I knew Beau had the strength inside of him to continue in his sobriety, but I wasn't sure if he knew yet.

Today, exactly two years later, I am proud to say that my brother, Beau Domingues, is two years sober. Beau, I cannot express how proud I am of you. You continue to surprise me everyday, and your strength is inspirational. I can't wait to see you pick up your two year chip tonight.

When asked to describe his journey of recovery in three words, Beau's response was "Happy, Joyous, & Free."  "The best thing about being sober is that I can have a relationship with my family again." Beau said the thing that most surprised him about himself is that he can "still have A LOT of fun in recovery." When asked how his life has changed from two years ago to now, Beau said, "Words can't describe. I was numb to the gift of life before. Now I have the privilege to experience life itself." His advice to anyone who is trying to get clean is "It's not easy, but its simple. Take suggestions. Read the Big Book. Work the steps. Call your sponsor. Go to meetings. Don't drink. Pray & meditate. Lose the ego. Humble yourself."

This blog post is dedicated to anyone and everyone who is in their journey of sobriety, any family members of alcoholics and addicts, and, most importantly, my big brother Beau. After all these years, I am still looking up to you. Your courage and strength have shown me that I can do whatever I put my mind to. You haven't just changed your have changed mine too; more than you will ever know. 

I love you so much Brother Bear. 
Love, Missy Moo