On June 20th of 2020 I will reach the milestone of 1 year sober from drugs and alcohol. A milestone that I talked about for years while in my addiction, but never was able to reach, mostly due to my inability to listen and take suggestions.
I was in Turning Point from June to august of 2019; that was my third time being in treatment for my alcoholism and drug addiction. The first two times I went to treatment the idea of working a program of recovery was so distant from my mind and what I thought I needed. I really fell into the belief that all I needed to do was to just not drink and not use drugs and that things would be fine. I never was able to stay sober with that mentality. I just didn’t have the willingness to do the work. I also didn’t have the insight that I, like many addicts and alcoholics, had a God shaped hole in my soul. I have come to believe that the only way that I could find true serenity and peace is in working a twelve step program and getting connected to my higher power.
After leaving treatment I went to sober living and that has been key for me in terms of getting connected to the women I live with. These women are not just roommates, they are my sisters and shoulder to lean on when I need help.
A lot of the last year has not been easy. I have had to pray countless times for courage and willingness in times that i wasn’t sure it existed in me, but I’ve always found it and did the best I could to do the next right thing. I have learned that just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful. The beauty and meaning I’m finding in life is no longer obtained from getting drunk or high, but in reaching out to other addicts and alcoholics, in continuing to put in the work, going even when it feels like I’ve already done enough and not giving up when it feels like I don’t have anything else left to give. God always gives me the strength I need to help me through whatever it is that is presented to me.
Another aspect of recovery that has been instrumental for me is having a sponsor and working the steps. My sponsor holds me accountable, reminds me to pray and above all else, is the the first relationship with another human being that I’ve learned to trust and have boundaries. My sponsor sets boundaries with me, too, and we respect each other. If I get an idea, I bounce that idea off of her and she gives me her experience, strength and hope and helps me make a sound decision based upon that. If I feel resistance, she reminds me to pray for the willingness or for the answer and to keep my will in line with God’s will. She always tells me the only way to break the chains that I felt bound by is in the work and in the steps. I couldn’t understand that at first, but as I’ve continued working them and trying to live my life based upon the spiritual principles behind the steps, I have been slowly gifted the freedom she spoke of.
The only reason I am who I am today and have any of what the universe has presented me today, is because of God, my sponsor, the steps, being of service and meetings. I wake up every day and remind myself that I am love and light and that if I just do the best I can for the day in keeping my will in line with God’s, I will be blessed with another day free to exist without drugs and alcohol and that is the best blessing I’ve ever received.