I’m so excited to share this with you! I wrote a guest post for My Friend Adeline that was published on her blog yesterday. You can read it here:
I’m so grateful to be able to share that I’m now more than six months sober. I never thought I would reach this milestone. But by taking it one day at a time, here I am!
Many things in my life are beginning to turn around. I’m paying down my debt. I’m back to writing every day. I’m beginning to have the ability to express my emotions as I feel them (which is a true miracle for me).
Good things are happening – and it’s all because I’m not drinking anymore.
I still feel the temptation. Walking by the wine in the grocery store or driving by a liquor store I repeat my mantra: I don’t do that anymore.
When I’m watching a TV show or a movie, and I find myself triggered by a drinking or drugging scene, I quickly murmur, “I’m an alcoholic and an addict.”
I remind myself daily that I fight a battle. No – a war. And I have weapons and tools with which I can defend and armor myself against the daily onslaught of temptation.
I’ve found that gratitude is the sword in my arsenal against my disease. Whenever I feel burdened or lost, a quick gratitude list will snap me out of my funk. Staying grateful for everything I have helps me stay centered and serene. Staying grateful for my sobriety helps me remember that my sobriety is something to be valued and honored and not taken lightly.
I wake up every morning and thank my Higher Power for my sobriety – for the chance to live another day sober. And I ask for grace and strength and serenity so that I can stay grateful for all I have throughout the day.
Remember the misery
The further away I get from my last drink, the more diluted the memory becomes. But I’m not so far away from it that I can’t remember the absolute misery of drinking all night and not being able to get drunk. The sleepless mania. The bloody vomit. The complete isolation. And that was all before the hangover!
My addiction wants my ego to believe that I’m okay. Now that I’m six months sober, I’m feeling pretty good. It’s even more important now for me to remember the misery that I’ve escaped.
We can’t take away the alcohol and expect to be okay with the vacuum that’s left behind. We must fill the hole with something good. I found the fellowship in AA to be a perfect fit!
I used to escape pain by drinking. Now I escape pain by going to a meeting or calling an AA friend – someone who can identify with what I’m going through and knows what the temptation for a drink means to people like us.
It’s taken (taking) me a long time to accept the spiritual part of my nature. One thing that has helped is hearing in a meeting that “I am not a human being having a spiritual experience – I am a spiritual being having a human experience.” It flips the script to think of it like that, and it helps me remember to care for that spiritual side of myself.
It helps me remember to pray and connect with my Higher Power throughout the day when I’m struggling with things I can’t control. It helps me remember to look at the stars and to recognize the beauty of the changing seasons – all the beauty of nature that speaks to my soul. This is a part of me that drinking and drugging drowned.
I am still struggling to find it.
A positive attitude is essential to living a sober life. But there will always be days when I’m grumpy or anxious or just plain angry at the world. The important thing to do here is to go back to my primary tool – Gratitude.
If I can avoid acting out on my grouchy, bad attitude emotions, I stand a chance at staying sober.
These are the tools I have learned to use over the past few months of living a sober life. Using them takes effort, and some days I’m willing to put in more effort than others. I’m human.
Today, I am grateful and full of hope. I am living sober one day at a time.