Simple lessons of 1,000 days of sobriety.
December 15th, 2016 was my 1,000th day in sobriety. Milestones are not my cup of tea and are things I usually shy away from. However, today I do feel a sense of great accomplishment. Today, I feel grateful to be sober. In my 1,000 days of recovery I have learned more than I realized I could. Lessons on life and love that have exceeded any dreams I used to fantasize I could achieve. But as this day comes to a close, it is that I am sober for today that is my greatest lesson.
So, how did you do it?
I have come to know that the promises of a better life do come true. Consequently, they do sometimes come more slowly than we alcoholics care for them to. I have learned lessons of great faith and patience. I have learned that it does work if you work it. My family relationships have been restored. I have found a true understanding of real love. Miracles have developed right in front of my eyes in reuniting with my daughter. My profession, my finances, my life are full and running over in abundance. So the question is, “How did you do it”?
Keep it simple stupid……REALLY!
Keeping it simple in sobriety is important. It is easy for any addictive personality to over think things and let their minds take them down a slippery slope. Keep it simple stupid, was a phrase that I am thankful to have latched on to. In the theme of simplicity I will spell out for you what has kept my house built upon solid rock. A house that I am still building with a foundation laid one day at a time.
- Spirituality – God has been my greatest ally in my fight for sobriety. Developing a relationship with Him as I understand Him was vital. My daily reading in His word has been an indispensable weapon. Adding in meditation and prayer each morning along with becoming involved in my church has given me the opportunity for a rock solid foundation. Giving up control and finally surrendering my will to God allowed Him to step in and transform my life. Alone I failed, with Him I always win, ALWAYS.
- Acceptance – My go to read in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous was the 2nd paragraph on pg. 417 about acceptance. It truly is the answer to all of my problems today. Once I got out of my own head, out of my own way I could begin to really look at the things for what they were. I could accept them and focus on how I could make it better. I no longer would fixate on the wrongs of others as my undoing. Instead, I could own my life, my past, present, and future.
- People, Places, and Things – I hate to sound cliché but there is great truth in it. Why do you think it so widely used, not a coincidence. It is the one thing I always hated to hear in rehab and in early sobriety. A sponsor once told me, “You go to the barber long enough you will get a haircut”. To make it simple I always refer to it like this. It comes down to who you’re with and where you’re at. Be with the right people and in the right places.
It really is simple, don’t believe the booze and its lies.
So why am I telling you all this. My hope is that what I endured as an alcoholic helps someone else avoid the misery I drank myself into. It seems so dark, so lonely, so hopeless when you are in the grips of addiction. You can literally feel death breathing down your neck. We cannot see or begin to realize that the answer, the light, the way out of our prison of drugs and booze is so simple. However, if I can bring that light to just one then I am fulfilling a life of purpose. Life is still life, but the lessons of sobriety have taught me how to really live it.
The lesson of one day at a time.
If you are reading this and know the darkness that comes from addiction, or know someone who is battling addiction, reach out for help. It may seem overwhelming or unattainable but it really is within the reach of simplicity. Find your spirituality, learn and practice acceptance, and be aware of who you are with and where you are at. The most important lesson, though, I saved for last. It is so simple that it took me over a year of being sober to grasp. Do the three things above but focus on doing them ONE DAY AT A TIME! Of all the lessons I have learned in my 1,000 days of sobriety, the most important one is, that I am sober for today.
Leave a comment below and share what has been your most important lesson in sobriety!