Keeping Sobriety as My Number 1 Priority and Not Taking it for Granted
I chose this topic because I have a sober anniversary coming up in a few days. I have been in AA since 2008, but I had not maintained continuous sobriety as many of you know. I will have three years, God willing, on April 5th. I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would stay sober for that long. As Susanne L says, “It works if we work it.” It really is a “daily reprieve,” and I continue to take it one day at a time.
There have been plenty of times when I didn’t keep my sobriety as my number one priority and when I have taken it for granted. My disease would tell me that I don’t have a disease. I would put other things ahead of it such as jobs, an affair, exercising, changing careers, Facebook, etc. There were times when I didn’t have a sponsor – did not want a sponsor (in other words – did not want to be accountable to anybody), thought that I didn’t have that “low” of a bottom, and thought that I didn’t need to go to as many meetings. Honestly, every time I got into that situation, I ended up relapsing.
In the past two months or even a little less, there have been two women that I once knew who died from this disease. Both of them left behind young children. It makes me so sad and really shakes me up, especially when it hits so close to home. On the other hand, it makes me so much more grateful for my sobriety and makes me realize that I can never take it for granted. Sobriety is truly a gift, and we are truly the lucky ones!
I just want to share how just recently I had to make a difficult decision. If I hadn’t taken this course of action, there is no telling what it may have done to my sobriety. Although it was a positive thing that I was doing, it was taking up a lot of my time and causing me stress – causing me to feel like my life was becoming unmanageable. To me, that is progress and shows me that I am growing in this program. In the past, I would have fought it and insisted on having everything my way. Amazing – I feel like I’m actually starting to “grow up” but still have a ways to go. Progress not perfection, right?!
I also have a new sponsor who I absolutely love! We go to a lot of the same meetings at the AA club in my home town. I am so grateful to have her in my life! I also have a new sponsee who I’ve known for about 6 years. She had moved away and recently moved back after a relapse. I am very grateful to help other women in the program.
Lastly, I would like to end with part of a reading from Daily Reflections: COMMITMENT p.55 (February 16)
“… I could no longer hide behind self-rationalization, nor behind the insanity of my disease. The only course open to me, if I was to attain a joyous life for myself (and subsequently for those I love), was one in which I imposed on myself an effort of commitment, discipline, and responsibility.”
I need to keep doing the foot work – stay committed to my AA program, remain accountable and responsible, do the next right thing, and help other alcoholics. I also wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for my Higher Power, who I call God.
Grateful for all of you and for being on this journey with you! I look forward to reading your shares. Thank you for allowing me to be of service!