“Do not dwell on the past, or shut the door on it…”

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.

Watching March Madness in sobriety

So I felt a little weird and squirly this morning. Today starts my weekend actually. And it’s a little challenging coming off four straight twelve-hour overnight shifts. On my last night, I come home and sleep a good 18 hours till the next morning, which is today. now that your sober you only roll two deep for march madness!-1

But I did wake a little early, five in the morning early, so I decided to go to the gym.  As I walked outside to the car, the fresh, cool-damp morning gave me the chills. Especially the bird chirping her morning ritual that use to be the “sound of death” when I was using.

Driving down the dark street and watching the police cars roll by, I started to change my course of direction in my head until I said, wait, I’m not doing anything wrong. Old habit.

When I got home I tapped my key board so my monitor lights up, and it’s March Madness everywhere. Three years ago I would of known that. I would of quit my job (if I had one) to watch the games. Or maybe I was just quitting to drink and use.

Today being the avid sports fan, there is a lot going on. And it’s definitely a different vibe, maybe is even going to take some getting use to. But I’m actually hyped to watch March Madness and here a few things on how to watch the games, sober:

  1. Stay at home. I’m watching the games at home, no reason to set myself up at a bar.
  2. Watching the games by myself. It’s really how I watch the games anyway, no need to have a bunch of people over, they probably work today anyway.
  3. Hit a noon meeting. I’m not betting, there is no reason why I can’t hit a meeting and take an hour away from the television.
  4. Remember, it’s about having fun and enjoy the tournament, if I can’t do that then why am I watching.
  5. Stay connected. I’m planning to text a sober friend during the games about the games. That keeps me accountable.

My lifestyle is about sobriety now. Sure I think some of these things are silly but when I thing back about how my life use to be ill take “silly” every single day of the week and twice on Sunday.

-Keeping it Sober

5 things to help you stay sober…

Five things that helped me stay sober in early sobriety:

One of the challenging parts of our journey in recovery is when we find ourselves “days in” sobriety. Our bodies and minds are in a physical and mental shock. We have a tornado of thoughts and emotions spinning off in our mind pushing us to take some type of action. Anything to make the unfamiliar reality we find ourselves in just go away. At this point we usually pick up and use or drink. However here are five things that I did (out of the many!) that helped me “hold on” in early sobriety.

1. Journal, which is blogging the old fashion way
2. Make the decision, not to make any decisions.
3. Do nothing. For the first time in your life, do nothing and “hold on.”
4. Stay off the phone and social media, (except for this blog!).
5. Priorities. This actually should be first on the list.

For an added bonus, here’s five more!

1. Don’t picture your life without drugs and alcohol, just picture your life.
2. Go to some type of support group, even if it kills you!
3. Make a commitment to change, because that what it’s all about!
4. Pick one person to be accountable too, preferably not your dealer!
5. Have a plan, if you don’t prepare, then you prepare to fail!

This is really good stuff! Look out later this week as I start to break down all ten things that helped me stay sober with personal stories from my own recovery!

Keeping it sober,

j

Keeping a journal in early sobriety can be used as a great tool later on!
Keeping a journal in early sobriety can be used as a great tool later on!