June 1, 2010
I have nearly completed two years of sobriety. To sum them both up; year 1 was hell, and year 2 has been the best year of my life since I was about 6 years old.
Not only am I nearly 2 years sober but I am happier more days than I am not. I am a different person today. I am confident, happy, and I am earning the respect of those closest to me.
I am fit and healthy, I am positive, I am pro-active and I know this is cliché but I am on a journey that feels really good.
I have become comfortable with who I am today. I have accepted that I have an alcoholic past. I have done intense work on myself using personal development, introspection, counselling, journaling, exercising, reading and prayer.
Although I am in a good place within myself right now, it doesn’t mean that my life is without problems. I have many challenges in my life right now that are extremely difficult and unfortunate. The good news is that I no longer need to escape in order to cope. I do not cope anymore, I live.
At two years sober I am excited about the future. There is so much that I want to experience. I have hopes and dreams and I am enjoying taking action in order to accomplish everything on my life list. I can’t remember feeling this enthusiastic about living; it is a great way to feel.
I find it unfortunate that sobriety has so much bad press. Nearly everything I read about sobriety is negative. The blogs, websites and forums are filled with people who write about their experience in sobriety sounding so depressed. They write about how tough each day is how life is a struggle. They go on and on only finding the tiniest things in life to be happy about but complaining relentlessly about everything else. The negativity is intense. I am not saying that these people are without reason; I am just saying that sobriety is not and does not have to be depressing forever.
I tried AA many years ago and although I recognize how significant it has been for many alcoholics, personally I found it very depressing and my sobriety back then lasted a little more than 6 weeks.
This time around, I did all sorts of research into staying sober, including reading some of The Big Book. I also looked into Holistic recovery approaches, Women for Sobriety, and the Seven Weeks to Sobriety method. I have kept an open mind about recovery and what works.
So, here I am, nearly two years sober for the first time in seventeen years. I have a second chance at life and I am enjoying sobriety more days than I am not.
Almost without realizing it, my second year of sobriety has been about finding faith and using prayer. I have developed a faith and confidence in God which I have never known before. This didn’t happen over night nor was it something I set out to do but it has proved to be the most successful method of sustaining sobriety that I have come across.
I have spent time studying the Bible and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone regardless of whether you believe in God or not. It is such a practical book that teaches you how to live, cope, handle others, and live a worthy life. This book is amazing and it is turning my life around.
Maybe if I give you an idea of how I use prayer and faith in my own life, you will understand how and why it is changing my life.
I felt a little uneasy when I woke up today. I couldn’t really put my finger on the reason why but this was a familiar feeling from old.
Later in the day, I thought back to this morning and the uneasy feeling I had. It had disappeared almost as soon as I realized I had it. I thought back to my drinking days, just under two years ago. I would wake up with the uneasy feeling every day. I would spend all day trying to get rid of it, usually by having a few drinks to keep it at bay. I didn’t have prayer, faith and God back then. I just had me. I would feel scared, alone, anxious and panic ridden most of the time. The only time I would feel good was once I had a few drinks in me. Only then, would I feel ok and be able to handle whatever was on the agenda for the day. I could never quite explain how I felt to friends or family. I had created an alter ego that everyone knew. It was seldom that I would come clean and tell everyone how I really felt. Now and again when life got too tough (which was often), I would have a mini melt down and tell some of how I felt to my closest friends. Usually this confession would soon be forgotten, it would be replaced with the feel good conversation a few drinks brings on. Then I would be back to my alter ego, who everyone was used to.
The difference today, and every day in my life now is that I never feel alone for very long. No matter how uneasy I feel, or what difficulty arises in my life, I don’t feel as unglued as I used to. I don’t feel alone or terrified or desperate for a drink to make me feel better. That part of my life has changed dramatically. Praying and having faith in God is the reason I am able to enjoy and live sobriety as well as I do.
I can’t tell anyone how to live but I can tell you what I have done to get me two sober years of living after half a lifetime of alcoholism. I hope this helps. I have to recommend the Bible though, it is truly an amazing lifeline.