How are you putting your sobriety first?
In three days, I will celebrate 25 years of sobriety, and for that I am deeply grateful. I can officially say that I have now been sober longer than I drank and drugged. I’d like to say that, because of this many years of sobriety, I am no longer at risk for taking a drink, however, that would be a lie.
Though it is true that my life today is so much better than I could have even dreamed when I was drinking ~ I’ve enjoyed all of the Promises, and I would generally describe myself as happy, peaceful and most times reasonably serene. And it is also true that I would never want to go back to that drinking and drugging life because it is a hard way to live. (For me, sober recovery is the “easier softer way”.) However, three weeks ago, my 66 year old husband had a stroke and is now paralyzed on one side and is unable to speak, except for a few words. I was also told that he has two major blockages in his coronary arteries that will need to be treated because he is at risk for a heart attack.
Suddenly, my world shifted and nothing seems secure anymore. I don’t know what the future holds regarding his health, what function he will be able to recover, his ability to work, or our finances. I had worked while my husband attended school and received various degrees and, our plan had been for me to finally be able to retire soon, while he continued working (he is an electrical contractor and we own our own company). I could go on and on about what life was “supposed to look like”. But, all that has changed.
As I found myself reeling from the changes his medical condition caused in our lives, one evening as I was leaving the hospital after a long and stressful day, I felt so weary, afraid, angry and alone. Then, from out of nowhere, a thought and visual image “floated” into my head ~ it was an image of me sipping a glass of wine and savoring that warm, relaxed feeling ~ it felt like the most natural thing in the world I actually stopped walking and shook my head. The image was so vivid, it startled me. I immediately thanked God for my sobriety and asked His protection and care as I continue to make my way through these changes in my life.
That vivid thought/ visual image made me realize that, no matter how many years of sobriety I have, this disease is cunning, baffling and powerful and I have only a daily reprieve from that slippery-slope-spiral down to the black hole I was in before I got sober.
My sobriety is dependant on my spiritual condition and, I was reminded that I must do my inner (spiritual) work to address the outer challenges in my life. For me, that inner work involves talking to God (a lot), staying out of the way so God can do His work, talking and sharing with sober alcoholics, striving to live by the principles / Steps of this Program, and attending meetings. What this means for me is that, no matter what is happening in my life (good or bad), my sobriety must come first.
Please share about what you do ~ or don’t do ~ to put your sobriety first, regardless of what is happening in your life. Or, if you have a burning desire to share about something else that is going on in your life, please do so.