In our recovery does there come a point where we can stop saying I’m an alcoholic? Is it necessary for us to continually refer to ourselves as who we used to be? Is it key to being able to remain sober or does it limit us in the value of life that we can recover? Valid questions when dealing with alcoholism.
Let me state clearly that I celebrate sobriety in whatever avenue a person is taking to achieve it. Whatever works is whatever works. For me I wanted all of what life had to offer me and I felt shackled to a label when working strictly a 12 step program. I felt that there just had to be more to it.
Shackled to a label
Does this mean I needed to abandon completely my past and who I used to be? On the contrary, I am reminded each day simply by the nature of all that alcoholism wrecked upon my body, mind, and soul. But, I don’t need to be in a room with other alcoholic’s, claiming to be one for me to remember.
Quite honestly, I believe the 12 step approach to be a great guide for a way to live. I think it can work for anyone whether they have battled addiction or not. But I also know that what I speak I become. My mindset is tied to what I say about myself and I am no longer an alcoholic. I am no longer my past.
I am no longer my past
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. What we think about ourselves is what we say about ourselves and what we speak is what we become. So I stopped saying I was an alcoholic on a daily basis, that was not who I was anymore. I had overcome my alcoholism and I became a new creation.
Here is where people may miss the boat. I am completely aware everyday that if I go back to the alcohol that I will quickly be right back to the raging alcoholic of my past. It is cunning, baffling, and powerful and will kill me if I give it a chance. But my defense is my faith. What I believe, what I speak, and what I do not in a 12 step program or the rooms of alcoholics anonymous.
Believe, Speak, and Do
I not only believe, I know whose I am. I am what God says I am. Complete, whole, and lacking nothing. I am created with a specific purpose, a hope, and a future. My past is not an anchor I am tied to, it was the beginning of a powerful story of redemption. I believe I am a warrior, I speak that I am a warrior, and go out and attack my life daily as a warrior.
You see I didn’t need to keep saying, Hi! I’m Kip, I’m an alcoholic. That put a ceiling on my life. It kept me stuck talking about my past on a daily basis instead of me being present and pursuing my future. Instead I run my race, using my past as a wealth of knowledge to help others. I run as one who wins, eyes on the prize, gratefully taking in the promises that God has for me.
Eyes on the prize
For those searching for the solution to alcoholism I advocate whatever path works for you. The important part is that you just take the step to get on “a path”. You have to move out of the safety of your insanity and into the uncomfortable arena of growth and a life of purpose. You just have to move.
But you may begin to wonder as you begin to take steps forward that there just has to be more to it. More than just, Hey, I’m an alcoholic. If that is you then stop saying it. Cross the bridge of your past to your present and your future. You can become who you dream of, who you desire to be. What we think and speak we become. That is why I stopped saying, I’m an alcoholic.