It’s a lot of work to get sober; we struggle by minutes, hours and days when we are lucky. It is not an easy task for an addict; we can fall at any time, any event out of our control becomes an excuse to pick up or use. Our mind is so set to find a way out from our obligations and reality that we master our abilities to exit from them. We lack structure; we run away from it, we will do anything to escape to our false concept of freedom.
It is all numbness, we realize that we have been living in chaos, that we have drifted far from life. Recovery requires the same energy and commitment we had when we were active in our addiction. It will flourish with every responsible action we take.
As we add time to our sobriety, the chaos disappears, and slowly we come back to a reasonable pace of living. There are moments when we sit back and remember the good old days, believe me, none of those sweet memories belong to our drinking and using time. We recall the times growing up as kids when life was simple, times with family and people we loved and who loved us. We didn’t need to pretend to be somebody else when we were comfortable being ourselves.
We have to take responsibility for our actions and begin to put our lives in order. We begin to get better, and people around us start to believe and trust in us again. The change is visible and our dependants, loved ones, colleagues can tell we are working on ourselves. Our economy improves, and we gain stability and peace. It appears our world is working fine and we feel good for the first time in years. This is a significant time to work harder and harder because when things are going well, we may get complacent and lower our guard on our fight with our old habits.
It is after some time in sobriety and when things are going well that some of us want to believe we healed. After all, We have grown so much, we have fixed our businesses and made amends, we paid debts and help others, we don’t feel the cravings for alcohol or drugs, and we have healthy habits. We feel strong and have an active recovery life. Some of us have studied about psychology and behavior and acquired knowledge we didn’t have before about how addiction works. We listen to new ideas; we are surrounded by people who are interested in becoming better in mind and body. All of this is great, but we need to pay attention and make sure the reason for our recovery is still ourselves. This may sound selfish and we all know self-centeredness is the first thing we have to let go if we want to stay clean and sober. However, when we start prioritizing what others would want or expect from us, we enter in a dangerous area. We can forget that in our sickness we seek for love and acceptance that we fed our ego trying to please others with terrible consequences. We love our spouse and our children, our family, and friends. They stood by us in the worst times and supported us in our recovery. We may feel bad for the way we treated them, and we want to repair the damage. We owe them time and can’t wait to make it up to them since we feel good because things are going well. But Recovery is for us only; we are the ones that want it. We have to work for it and fight against ourselves to keep it.
Putting others ahead of my recovery is a big mistake. Sobriety must always be my first interest, without sobriety I lose everything.
I have worked to be better and make everything better around myself so that others can depend on me, and I can take care of the people I love. I am an alcoholic and not them; they don’t need sobriety and let’s face it, as much as they have been there with me and watched me hit rock bottom; they don’t know what it is like to be an addict because they are not one. Nobody can understand our addiction but an addict. Someone that loves me can say ( with the best intention, or naivety better put): “Hey, its ok, you had struggle and worked so hard, you are ok, you got this, you have learned and achieved so much, what is going to happen? You are strong now, just have a sip, just taste it, you don’t have to drink”.
Or maybe it is me thinking this to myself.
AA and NA programs state that their steps are suggestions, never affirm it is the absolute truth. But they do demand my most rigorous honesty. These are programs of complete abstinence from all substances. There were only a few questions I was asked when I came for help: Are you done drinking? Would you go to any length to stay sober? And COMPLETE HONESTY was the only requirement.
So, when someone says any different I respect their choice, I don’t hold all the truth. Maybe one day someone will be able to drink like a gentleman or a lady after having to get help from the program, who knows.
” I have never heard of someone coming back to meetings after drinking or drugging again and telling great stories about it.”
I remember an 87-year-old lady said in a meeting I was attending in Philadelphia, “Every time I hear someone say they think they are healed, I fear for them, not because I want them to fail but because I have lost people I dearly cared for that died after trying.
Jeremy Paxman : “You don’t do drugs anymore? A glass of wine even?”
David Bowie : “It would kill me if I start drinking again. I am an alcoholic. Would be the kiss of death for me. My relationships with my friends, my family, everybody around me is and have been so good for many years now. I wouldn’t do anything to destroy that AGAIN. It is very hard to have relationships when you are doing drugs and drinking. For me at least, I was very lucky to find my way out of it”.
Stay strong. Love.