The longer I stay healthy, the more I recognize there is so much more to recovery than just putting down the substance. I think the easiest part of my journey was probably making the decision to quit. The hardest part has been taking the actions necessary to remain successful.
Sometimes, I miss the apathy that accompanied my drinking. I miss not having to care or feel so much. This admission does NOT mean I am going to trade in my 1,411 days sober for a fruity cocktail – but it is the honest, and sometimes painful, truth of this recovering woman.
In the beginning, I quit because I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live – for my daughter at first, and then gradually for myself too. Today, I stay because I am not willing to trade the life I have built for a temporary reprieve.
Life can be straight-up intolerable sometimes. Things don’t always go right (cough…my way), I still make plenty of mistakes, and the people I care about the most can make mistakes too.
Sometimes those mistakes are painful and heartbreaking and I end up feeling betrayed or disrespected. Sometimes those mistakes are trivial and I blow them completely out of proportion. Sometimes, those mistakes are blessings in disguise.
There is one thing I know for sure in this life, and that is that no drink or drug will ever take that pain away forever. Sure, maybe for a moment, but when the fog clears we always return to that very same reality – and most times the substance has made that problem worse…much, much worse.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I feel like giving up, but I have learned that most pain is temporary – which means that taking the first drink or drug is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
At the end of the day, no matter what I have gone through, no matter what mistakes I have made, I can place my head on my pillow and feel proud of myself. I feel proud! I couldn’t say that before I gave up alcohol – honestly, I could barely look at myself in the mirror.
When I stopped drinking, my life got better. Period!
Some days, my greatest accomplishment is not picking up that drink when my thoughts and hands are screaming for it. Some days, I even crave the buzz from that first puff on a cigarette – but I know I have a choice today. That choice was returned to me when I chose recovery over my addiction. Other days, my greatest accomplishment is going to work and being a productive member of society. But most days, my greatest accomplishment is simply showing up and being present and dependable for my family, every minute of every day – the good and the bad.
Recovery is what allows me to do this. Every day, before my feel hit the floor, I make a commitment to myself to stay sober for another 24 hours. I strive to be better than I was the day before. Some days, I feel like I am standing still – but even at a snails pace I have continued to make progress.
Never lose hope because of a temporary setback. Put your eyes to the sky and have a little faith – you just might witness a miracle. You may even become one yourself! ♥️