I wanted to share some of the things and ideas that helped me to make my first year sober in a household that has some heavy drinkers. I feel a bit uneasy bringing up the fact that my household does drink a lot, but I want to make a point that sobriety is possible in any circumstance, you name it! But I want to make clear that I am staying with them by choice; therefore, I am not a victim in any way.
I started my drinking career at 21, was lucky to end at 27. The only reason that I was able to stop is because of the help I received. Not to make this a long part about me, I want to jump right into it.
Commitment. The last night of my drinking before checking myself into the emergency room, I committed to ending the insanity of my addiction. I realized that my desire to drink was far beyond my body’s capability to survive. I have never committed myself to anything like this before, but I think I found my reasons. Addiction became tiring, and future regrets would have been too painful to face. There was just no way that I would have been happy in my addiction; it had no future. For the first time, I felt like my time was running out. I committed hard that night to do whatever it takes.
Help. 28-day inpatient rehab, intensive outpatient program, basic outpatient program, smart recovery meetings(online as well), Alcoholics Anonymous, mindfulness. I have done it all, and I am finding out that there are even more options. I think it is important to try them all myself instead of relying on someone else’s opinion.
Self-responsibility. I remember sitting at my counselor’s office while in rehab, telling her for the first time in my life about what I thought had led me to become addicted. She suddenly commented that no one put the alcohol down my throat. It was extremely unpleasant to admit that she was right. I thought she was so cold, but that moment was one of the most influential moments in my recovery so far. I am not a victim. It has helped me to survive so many cravings and to make my first year sober in a household that drinks. Although getting help is important, I know that there is no program that can save me from not drinking. It is up to me to find the inner strength and the things that work for me.
Attacking my urges/cravings before they happen. I have noticed that if I work on my sobriety during my good days it will prevent me from having bad days. It is almost like I have cravings when unbalance happens.
Holding myself to higher standards. I don’t get to complain about things being hard. There is nothing that can justify my relapse, and I don’t get to blame others. Having bad feelings doesn’t give me the right to drink.
Inspiration. Whether it’s volunteering on Friday night at 11 pm at the homeless shelter, reading a new book, finding a movie to watch about addiction, or taking the time to think about the fact that I only have one life. This has become an important part of fueling my recovery.
Benefits of pain. I am aware that every time I overcome pain or uneasiness, that is when I transform. Pain is the moment when change happens in me, not when things are good.
Things will not be okay. I have embraced that things will not be normal or okay for a long time, if ever. I need to learn how to live with that. My sobriety depends on it.