If you are like me, then sometimes you need a little motivation in sobriety. It’s easy can common to let our guard down when life is good due to our recovery from drugs and alcohol. However, it is very important to be mindful of how important your sobriety is to your well-being. In podcast #33, I give you 8 questions to help you get your sobriety back on track!
On my birthday I spent the day at the beach with a couple of friends. I did miss being at home with my wife but I did have a relaxing day just being present and mindful of my surroundings. There is something about the beach and the ocean that gives me a sense of serenity and purpose.
In my addiction my wife and I would argue all the time. One time I took off
to the pier just to get away however I was literally there only an hour as I could not go another second without drugs. However when I walked the pier this time I was sober and clear headed.
I guess it’s the sense of “hope” that I feel when the waves crash into the shore. No matter how big or small, each wave has purpose and gives with each thrust, instead of taking away. It all depends on perception.
This was the sky the other night right before a huge thunderstorm struck south Texas. The funny thing is that it was so beautiful and it felt amazing outside. It was peaceful and the only thing you could here was the wind blowing, moving the sky right over me.
One thing I still struggle with is being present. Don’t dwell on the past or jump to the future. Be where your feet are, and your day will go better!
And of course, anytime is a good time for coffee!
Last there is hope. Without hope, I have nothing. Hope is what motivated me to get sober. Everything I do and share about my personal recovery is to give someone hope, that they can get sober and live a healthy life.
There’s this guy in group that shared about his nephews’ drinking problem.
The mother said, “He’s out of my house for good…after I get back from my vacation.”
We had fifteen people this morning, everyone sober to my knowledge. All walks, age, gender and race. However no one, not even me could give a direct answer to the guy with the drunk nephew looking for advice. I mean, the guy understands himself, we cant get anyone other than ourselves sober but how do you even get someone to listen? I know I never listened, to anyone. I would like to think that the nephew shouldn’t have to go through 20 years of addiction to finally come to some profound moment in his miserable existence that he is finally tired. I mean there is more help today for people addicted to drugs and alcohol than ever right? We shouldn’t have to lose everything. We shouldn’t have to come to an end of our life only to grab and hold on to a little tiny piece of hope, and let it carry us to some weird meeting or group.
If the sober you, could go back and speak with the “Day 1” or the “Active Disease” you, what would you say? Would you tell yourself not to be scared, or that you know for a fact that everything will be better? Or would you just give yourself support and let “Day 1” you figure stuff out on their own?
Whatever your answer, that may be the thing to tell this guy’s nephew, before he waste the next 20 years of his life!
In sobriety we often are grateful to be able to “get” to do things. For example, I get to wake up sober, I get to go to work and I get to spend time with my family. However none of that is possible without the service of our military members. Thank you so much for the freedom of my sobriety and my country.
I’m not going to say the wine bottles in the fridge didn’t bother me, but I know for sure that I wasn’t in any danger of drinking them. And it’s funny how I just described what a normal person would consider a “sip” or even a “glass” my addicted mind went straight for “them.” As in all of “them.” Yes for a few seconds I entertained drinking all the bottles of wine in the fridge me wife had put away for the baby shower.
If I were to look back at the beginning of the week, I would suggest it started with driving by the bar down the street. It’s not so much it was the place that I would always go to because I go walk home if I had to, it was more that the bar opens up early. Like 8am early. And to see people drinking on the patio as I drive by to take that left on the way to work, I get a little jealous if I let it.
Work was actually fine this week. I look forward to the hour long drives to and from. I find it therapeutic. However like anything else, it can get to me if I let it. But this week, I was good.
At home after work I’ve been working on the back house getting it ready and livable. But the back house is where it all went down. The 24 hour drugs and alcohol binges. They lasted for weeks. And I was always painting and grouting or trying to build something. And the smell of paint and caulking along with the smell of a freshly cut piece of 2×4, triggered the substance that I used for my solution to all my problems for the past 17 years.
So by Friday afternoon, mentally I was in a bad spot. Stubborn not to hit a meeting or call someone about the stuff that going on in my head. So like they say, a relapse starts way early, the actually physical relapse it actually comes in the end. But then there’s the kicker, the last thing that pushes you overboard.
For me it was physical work. Carrying in these huge, and I mean huge 45 case water bottles. There was like a million of them. You see, my thing is, I don’t want to have to come home and physically work. It’s just my thing.
So that night, the day before my wife’s baby shower I opened the fridge to see bottles of wine. In a packed fridge with all this food and pastries for all the guest the next day, all I saw was the wine. And in my mind, the thought of within a few seconds I could be totally fucked up. Everything I worked didn’t matter. The four years sober didn’t matter. My family didn’t matter. My son who hasn’t been born yet didn’t matter. Graduate school, my job, my broadcasting gig, none of it mattered.
The one thing that did matter, or that had have mattered because obviously I sitting here typing still over four years sober, is that my life would go back to that miserable, hopeless and emotionally painful point in time, where I didn’t want to live anymore.
And that’s what kept me sober.
Well, I just finished my book.
I’ll hold for applause.
Juuuuuust kidding. 🙂 Although, it is exciting, and I did a little happy dance last night to some Broadway show tunes to commemorate the occasion.
But it’s been really interesting to have to go back. To put myself back in that place, ten years ago, when I was going to inpatient for my anorexia. Which, wouldn’t you know, upon my entrance, I was in denial that I even had an eating disorder at all, and was adamant that I wasn’tanorexic.
And as I’ve been writing, I’ve realized just how much I am not that girl anymore. I can barely even recognize myself. And I’m not just talking about the glaringly obvious physical transformation. The truth is, I barely recognize my heart.
But it’s been really powerful – and monstrously difficult – to mentally go back and…
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So I challenge you this week, to capture a picture of your personal recovery. If you snapped a photo of your recovery what would it look like? Would it be inside or out? At night or day? Would there be people in it or will it be filled with nature? Is it something you live for or experience every single day and moment? Or maybe it is still something you strive for. Whatever it, post a picture here or on our Facebook page and group, of “What Does Recovery Look Like to You?” #myRecoverypic
The first days in addiction I felt like my life had came to an end. It was like the road had ended. There was no where left to walk. That is why I struggled so much in early sobriety because I felt like my life was over, whether I got sober or not. That thinking made it so hard to want to get help.
However a few weeks later, even though my life and everything in it was still a mess, I began to see the bigger picture. The “what if” I gave this “sobriety thing” a chance thought, started to peek in my mind.
The idea of what opportunities I could possibly have if I lived a clean and sober life gave me just enough hope to give sobriety a try.
A few months later I was able to really see a clear picture of my what my life could be. I started to understand that my life wasn’t ending, it was just beginning.
Today at a little over four years sober, I can still see the “big picture” and still strive for many goals. The amazing things about it, is that once you see all the opportunity your life has clean and sober, you will always see it. The main things is, if you early in sobriety, do not think of this as the end of the road, think of it as the beginning of an amazing new life!
Like always feel free to join me at the private Facebook Group, Keeping it Sober!
Just taking away the alcohol and drugs isn’t enough, I realized early in recovery. I learned that my life was still in complete chaos on a daily basis. Because I was always “partying” in my 20’s and 30’s I never learned how to balance, prioritize, and manage my daily life. From waking to a morning routine to knowing when to go to sleep, I had to teach myself as I lived in the exact moment of unfamiliar territory.
Tip #1: Work on your laptop, until the battery runs out.
If you’re like me, you do not know when to turn off the laptop. Always late at night I am either working, writing or Facebooking that never seems to have a clear-cut time to stop. Everything is must complete! But the truth is, none of it, not even work is so important. My number one goal is to go to sleep sober, period! When I put my life in the proper perspective, it’s a little bit easier to see the end of the day. So I came up with a answer to all my late night laptoping woe’s: unplug your laptop from the wall, and work until the battery runs out. And even though my battery has a long life, I usually have four or five different windows open that drain the battery a little quicker. And when the battery runs out, so does the permission to be on computer. The ideal scenario after your battery running out, is to unwind, spend time with the family, play with dogs, or however you would like to spend the latter part of your day.