“There’s a lot of freedom in having nothing left to lose,” is a quote I heard recently that resonated with me in so many levels. One of those levels is, of course, getting sober. It wasn’t until I had tried to quit drinking/using on my own, and failed, that I became willing to ask for help.
I went to rehab to a place that I thought was in the middle of nowhere, where I didn’t know anybody. I thought that if i did it that way, I would think twice before getting angry and leaving. It worked. I stayed there for 28 days. It was suggested to me to go to a sober house but I didn’t and went home instead.
Once there, I went to meetings religiously with my little notebook ready to take notes; I was going to ace A.A. I also went to Intensive Outpatient Treatment. I got a sponsor, a couple of them, in fact.
I relapsed a few months later. I was actively using/drinking for about three months until my drug of choice stopped working. I wasn’t getting the relief I needed anymore. I still remember feeling ashamed of failing to stay sober, failing my partner at the time, and feeling like a failure.
Looking back now that I’m almost four years sober, I realize that I neglected to maintain a daily connection with my Higher Power. I also didn’t have the support of my home group because I didn’t allow in my life; I would go to meetings on time and leave on time.
This time around though, I’ve stayed in the middle of A.A. through service work like taking people to meetings, taking meetings to treatment facilities, chairing meetings, sponsoring but most importantly, I have shared, in a general way, where I am in my sobriety.
That has made a huge difference. The more I share how I’m feeling, the less my disease stays in my head. By telling on myself through sharing those crazy thoughts that sometimes run through my head, I feel that I belong when I see people relating to me.
Every day that stay sober is a good day. I am aware now that I cannot achieve happiness through external sources. I get to work on myself to let go of the extra baggage I no longer need. Being happy is a decision I get to make every day. I am responsible for my well being, nobody else is.