The End of the Beginning. And the Beginning of The End. (Day 31: Sugar Sober Series)


October 31, 2014 by Beth Hess

What size shirt do you need for the event?” 

I cringe at the question.

Not only because it feels vulnerable to speak my size into the space. But because it’s not a question about today. The event is not until April.

And I panic. What size will I be six months from now?

I’ve been burned on this one before. Last summer my parents, husband, and I all volunteered at the US Open golf tournament in Pinehurst. It’s a huge undertaking, and volunteer information was collected almost two years in advance. It was more than 12 months before the Open when they asked my size for uniform shirts.

I made a projection that I would be smaller.

And the calendar changed, but my size didn’t, and I had to exchange the “fantasy” shirts for the ones that would actually fit.

I tell myself it’s different this time. I think it is.

Because back then I only had a hope that something would be different. But it was always too far in the future to gain any traction. Until it was too late.

And now? Well, now I have 31 days of Sugar Sobriety under my belt. And a dedication to freedom from addiction. And a surrender to God’s power in me instead of counting on my will-power alone.

I request the smaller shirt.


I think it’s a little ironic that the stages of a 12-Step program are called steps. Because a “step” infers a moving above, moving past. And this month has not felt like that AT ALL.

I wonder if it will really be more like juggling. A new ball thrown into the mix, challenging my coordination and my dexterity at each stage. Because I’ll never be “done” with accepting my powerlessness. Surrendering to God isn’t a Mark-it-Off-the-List event.

Each step, while building on the other, will likely stay in continuous motion for me for the rest of my life.

It’s not that I worry about dropping the balls. I am fairly sure that is bound to happen from time to time. I am confident there is grace for that.

But something about anticipating that I’ll be trotting up and down those steps until it simply becomes a natural dance makes it easier to forgive myself when the inevitable re-learning happens.

Down, but not out. Not ever again.

And so here I am at the end of the beginning of Sugar Sober. 31 Days. Both doing it and writing about it. Mission Accomplished. And that feels pretty darn good, I admit.

But so, too, is it the beginning of the end. The end of struggling silently and ashamed. The end of self-medicating followed by self-deprecation. The end of addiction’s unbreakable hold on me.

The end of battling alone. The beginning of letting Him take charge of even my food.

My beginning and my end. With the Alpha and the Omega.

Yes. I think that will work.


p.s. I simply cannot express what it has meant to me to have so many of you joining with me, cheering me on, and sharing your thoughts over these days. It’s a blessing I never even considered until it happened. But you guys made it happen, and I am so grateful. October is over, but the journey is not; neither is my calling to keep telling my stories. All the ones He entrusts to me, so please come back and hang out with me more and let’s keep walking each other home.


sugarsoberoctoberIn response to the 31 Day blogging challenge, I will be publishing EVERY DAY in October while I stay sugar-free. You can read previous posts HERE. To be alerted to new posts, please follow me on Facebook or Twitter using the links on the right side of this page. Or Subscribe to get posts sent to your Email. Feel free to Tweet your own experiences with #sugarsoberoctober as well.

PLEASE use the comment section to share your own thoughts, questions, or experiences. Like any road, sugar sobriety is one more easily walked with friends. I do my best to reply to every comment.

10 thoughts on “The End of the Beginning. And the Beginning of The End. (Day 31: Sugar Sober Series)

  1. Good job, Beth. I’ve enjoyed reading the daily blogs and getting an understanding. We all have a struggle of some type (or more than one), so keep up the good work!


  2. Cheryl Smith says:

    YOU MADE IT!!! HOORAY FOR YOU!!! I am SO proud of you! As you said, this is just the beginning….a perfect start to wonderful things to come. If you did it this long, you will continue this path, and you WILL SUCCEED. God is with you, and He is FOR you, so you have all you need. And, we will here with you, too…celebrating each success and milestone…or what I prefer to call “smilestones”..for truly they are all reasons to smile! You go, girl!!!


    • Beth Hess says:

      I am so, so thankful for all your encouragement and love, Cheryl. It’s those who are believing in my success that helps carry me through when I wonder if I can keep believing fore myself.


  3. ambercadenas says:

    I can’t help but read this with a sense of wonder, Beth, and of being in the presence of something very sacred unfolding. I hope you can sense this, being right in the thick of it, but I get the impression that you do. You have a good handle on where you are and even what it may look like, at least in the big picture sense, to continue walking these steps. I read this with such respect for you, and a deep excitement for this continuing journey toward wholeness, freedom and surrender. I love you, beautiful friend. I love what God and you are doing together.


  4. […] the miles ahead are still many. And that numbers aren’t the best way to measure them. Day 31: The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End: But something about anticipating that I’ll be trotting up and down those steps until it simply […]


  5. rickd3352013 says:

    As I’ve told so many of the folks I’ve sponsored over the years, you are in a marathon, not a sprint; part of a process, and not an isolated event. It helps to know that, as it also helps to walk the path with others a little farther along (to help encourage you over the rough spots in front of you) and for you to do the same for others just setting foot on the path. 1 Thess. 5:11 comes to mind there 🙂


    • Beth Hess says:

      It can be tough to see ourselves on a continuum, Rick. Just a moment in a marathon. We are so driven by instant feedback that over-correction is almost expected. Yes, I have already learned it helps to be with others on the path — all of us walking each other home.


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