Sobriety is a Lifelong Process

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*From the Sober Courage mailbox*

“I started thinking, “Is this the song that never ends for me?”, or is it me?

On one hand, I had to take a real close critical look at myself and my patterns, and intrinsic behaviors, and on the other hand, I had to take a gentler look at my whole life up until now, what I have been through, survived, my personal accomplishments, things that I love about myself, and look forward to, as a sober and clear human being.

When it comes to relationships, ending them sometimes is simply necessary to regain strong personal and intimate “footing”, instead of habitually “goat-pathing” our way, looking for the easiest and most comfortable paths to “wear out”, that never seems to get us anywhere.

Even when ending a relationship feels “better” on most levels, I have still gone through the grieving process, sort of still am, but just like alcohol, I won’t let myself relapse back into that relationship, or start another.

Our lives are important! Who we are and what we want and need will always be slightly mysterious, a journey of self-exploration has many different paths, and with that, I’m sure, will come a lot of growth and many personal changes.

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Drinking for 35yrs. of my life, I learned many ways to be what people wanted me to be, to “slink” in and out of situations like a chameleon, always feeling inside like a blank piece of paper, living off of appearances and manipulations, self-doubt, fears, and insecurities; now I have committed myself to sobriety and I know throughout the journey ahead of me I will grow, some things won’t be the same, or feel the same, I WILL CHANGE.

I think people addicted to alcohol including me, are very complex people, always in the “habit” of adapting and “shape-shifting”, so new discoveries will create change, in ourselves, relationships, and environments. It’s sort of inevitable.

I ADMIRE YOUR COURAGE. Be confident in your change, IT WAS INEVITABLE. Embrace every new day of freedom, and grow.

This blog a great read, and something I can share with my wife so she understands what I’m going through. Sober nine months now (fist bump), and I didn’t even know I was on the pink cloud. I experienced a perfect state of euphoria up until now. While still attending meetings, I got into the mindset that sobriety is easy now, life is great, I’ve gone through the steps, and I don’t really need to read the big book. These are dangerous assumptions to make.

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God blessed me with a person from my past contacting me whom I needed to make amends to. She forgave me but with her life in shambles, I took it upon myself to help her. My ego popped up out of nowhere and I started feeding off her emotions.

My own emotions came back quickly and I dealt with an overwhelming sense of guilt and remorse for all my actions in the past. I started to combat this by boosting my ego even more. Scary right? Needless to say, I slipped back into my addictive mindset. While I didn’t drink, I can see how toxic this is and how if continued could lead to a relapse. The good news is that my sponsor kicked the crap out of me (we need tough love sometimes), and combated all of the “buts” I was giving him.

So here I am, a wave of emotions, but I know what to do. Read the book, go to God, attend even more meetings. I’ll get back on that cloud and I’m doing what I need to do. BUT, falling off the cloud certainly is traumatic, and it’s incredible how fast our character defects can creep back up if left unchecked. Sobriety is a life long process and I’m doing what I need to. God bless you all and happy recovery!”




Grateful For This Beautiful, Messy Life

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*From the Sober Courage Mailbox*

by Christi W.

I sat in my car with tear filled eyes, gazing up at the dilapidated old building I lived in wondering, how did I get here? How did I go from enjoying a successful career, living and working in a swanky highrise in downtown Dallas to a shaking shell of the person I once was? I knew it had to stop, I begged for it to stop. I was a nightly blackout drunk.I couldn’t not drink and I couldn’t drink. I was lost in every way a person can be. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually.

I was always uncomfortable in my skin and I was always a rule breaker. Rules never mattered to me, I was an exception to the rules anyway. So I thought. At the age of 16, when my grandmother went to work, I skipped school and invited some friends over to hangout. It would be the second time I tasted alcohol and the second time in my life that I could exhale. The first time I tasted alcohol, I was date raped. Why on earth would any normal person drink to that extent again? Welcome to the diabolical sickness of addiction! And so began the vicious cycle of trying to chase down the “fun” I thought I was having until I nearly chased it to an early grave.

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My childhood was full of fear, loneliness and despair. I had absolutely no roots. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old and myself and my sister were tossed around to different family members, foster homes, emergency shelters and the list goes on. We were broken and unloved. Thank God we had each other. I can’t imagine enduring the habitual abuse we did alone. It was not until the moment I felt alcohol course through my veins that I felt, for the first time ever, relief. A false sense of relief of course, but at the time, it was everything I thought I wanted. It numbed the pain.

I spent many years trying to escape. Escape reality. Escape fear, feelings, consequences. What I found is the only way is through. And escaping all the “bad” things in life also prevented me from enjoying the good times in life. Because when I came down, all those feelings that I was trying to escape, well, they were still there. Those consequences that I tried escaping from? Yep, those were still there too, except they were worse. Figuring out that feelings pass and that I don’t have to act on every single emotion was mind-blowing. I can feel the feelings and let them pass! I don’t have to self destruct every time I’m uncomfortable.

I thank God for directing me to a 12 step fellowship, and for the subsequent life I am able to enjoy today. I am beyond grateful for all of the hell that I have walked through — because without it, I would never have stumbled upon my own strength. And without my strength, I never would be able to reach out and serve the next suffering person. That is how this thing called recovery works, in my opinion. We do it together. One. Day. At. A Time.

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I can’t help but wonder if I made it to where I am now so I can share my story to help others. Maybe sharing my story will help one person feel like there is hope? Maybe. I don’t know. But I do know I am extremely grateful for this beautiful, difficult, crazy, amazing, sober, fun, wonderful life of mine. I’m grateful I’m here today to tell my story. I’m grateful that I get to experience my children’s lives every single day.