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I Am An Alcoholic – Do I Really Deserve Better

“Homeless and hopeless to award winning teacher in 23 months”

Next month will be two years of sobriety for me. I love who I am becoming. I can see a great future. I embrace the responsibility of my past, present, and future. Yet, I still struggle with knowing that I do deserve better. Sometimes I can even doubt my own doubts. Success is foreign and also a challenge to me. It challenges me in recovery to grasp the fact that I really do deserve better. 

This past Wednesday I was surprised to learn that I had been awarded the Golden Apple for Tulsa Public Schools. A honor given to outstanding teachers by our Superintendent. A student of mine had written in about how I had inspired her to become a teacher. She wrote how she had learned to not fear mistakes because they are ways to learn and steps to success.

As I walked into the room I was greeted by news cameras, students, administration, and family. My first thought was classic alcoholic.  I wanted to throw my hands in the air and proclaim I had done nothing wrong. It was a strange and overwhelming feeling of flight or fight and boy did I want to run. The recognition was such an honor but yet so foreign. I was not quite sure how to handle it.

Do I deserve this

I am thankful that I was wearing a decent shirt. I was dressed in a hoodie that morning and Cindy keep pressing me to wear something better. Like I should, I listened. So many people were in on the surprise. It was extremely humbling and instantly I wondered if I really deserved this, others deserved it so much more than I did.

It is so much easier to be the screw up.

Right then and there I was reminded of who I am and what I battle every day. I am Kip and I am an alcoholic. Doubt and fear of success is our selfish way of avoiding a better life and the responsibility that comes with it. It is so much easier to be the screw up. Questioning our recovery is that deep rooted selfish weapon of our addiction.

Do I deserve better? Absolutely I do! The simple fact I must remember is that it is all about progress and not perfection. My alcoholic mind will tell me it is too much or I will never be enough. But success is not an obstacle to overcome it is a reward of my work in recovery. I cannot see it as a burden of responsibility. I must see it as the proof that is in the pudding, as they say.

I am developing a winning mindset by focusing on these four principles:

  1. I recognize my value
  2. I am ready to make changes
  3. I am willing to take responsibility
  4. I am able to imagine a better future

I do deserve better

When success comes our way just remember that it is proof of the promises coming true in our lives. It may be awkward at first since we grew so accustomed to failure. But we can and will bear fruit from our labor. I am beginning to bear fruit, I just had no idea it would be A GOLDEN APPLE.

11 Comments

  1. jeff jeff

    Congratulations Kip!

    • Thank you Jeff. It is just a testimony to the promises coming true. How God can work through us and give us so much grace and favor.

  2. Congrats Shubert! Stay strong! Miss you in Yukon.

    • Appreciate it Sam. Keep raising those great kids you have. Ever this way be sure and let me know.

  3. Crystal Roark Crystal Roark

    Absolutely proud of your accomplishments Kip!! You are a great man and deserve the recognition for your hard work and dedication for not only finding inspiration in yourself but for others too!!!

    • Thanks Crystal. Hope all of you are ok. Tell Dustin I said hello. Life has so much to offer when I learned I didnt need the bottle or all that goes with it.

  4. Congratulations! This was so cool to read Kip. Teaching is also my sober profession. I am so proud of you, of teachers, and of all in recovery right now! Smiling like crazy. Thank you for sharing!

    • Been teaching and coaching off and on for 22 years and never had anything like that happen. Will say it is much easier to do now that I am sober. I am grateful to be able to still do what I love to do and now have so much more experience and story to weave into my teaching. Keep teaching, we can affect our kids much more than they will ever realize or need to know.

  5. Mrs Norman Mrs Norman

    Kip as I sit here reading your testimony I’m in tears. But they are tears of joy. I am so proud of you. I don’t know if you remember me but you coached my son’s youth soccer team. You are a part off his soccer career success and I want to thank you. London is in his 4th professional career. He plays for a MLS team. Thanks for all you instilled in him and believing in him when he was young. We believe in you. Stay strong.

    • Elisha I do remember you and your family. How could I forget. Have followed London a little and know of his great success on the soccer field. Very proud of all he has been able to accomplish. You guys deserve credit as well as London for all he has been able to do. Glad I was able to be a tiny part of his soccer. GO TITANS. LOL Appreciate the kind words and although it is a day at a time thing, life is getting better and I have never been healthier. Just gotta keep at it so that the rest of life that has yet to fall into place, can. Take care and tell everyone hello from me. Cuz, I am beautiful no matter what they say, words cant bring me down…..wonder if Steve will remember that craziness.

  6. […] of my lack of self-worth. I was able to experience growth this year by being recognized as a Golden Apple teacher for Tulsa Public Schools. That helped me to realize my WHY. I am just like my students. I was […]

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