Alcoholism Recovery is the Most Important Part of My Life
It's clear to me now that alcoholism recovery is the most important part of my life. Within the recovery community, especially among those with long-term sobriety, the notion of all-or-nothing pervades our approach to life in sobriety. We all have our own set of priorities, but if we, as recovering addicts, place anything or anyone in a position of greater importance than our sobriety, we run the risk of relapse. As a result, this warning is often shared with men and women when they begin to get their life back in sobriety, "Be prepared to lose everything you place before your alcoholism recovery."
You might not understand why, or think that the warning seems a bit extreme, but consider this: acknowledging an addiction and having the willingness to confront it are two very different things.
Why Willingness is Important for Alcoholism Recovery
Willingness to confront my alcohol addiction is what keeps me sober. And if there is anything I are more dedicated to, then I will always have an excuse to not do the work that is required to maintain my sobriety. If I don't do the work, my alcoholism recovery will slip away like water from cupped hands.
No matter how hard I may try, if I want to hold water with my bare hands, I have to keep returning to the source of water, or, in this case, the source of my sobriety.
For every recovering alcoholic or addict, that source of sobriety can be different. Some may find self-help addiction recovery programs to be effective while others don't. For me, a big part of that recovery source is comprised of my friends in recovery. Another part of my recovery is my therapist. These relationships help me maintain an awareness of my sobriety that otherwise goes ignored.
Whatever your perspective of "what is necessary" to maintain sobriety, just get up and do it. Opinions don't help you stay sober if they aren't supported by action steps to recover from addiction.
What Happens when Alcoholics Drink Again
As an alcoholic, if I take one drink I will end up right back where I was when I first got sober: in a psychiatric ward, in trouble at work, desperate and depressed. I know this for two reasons:
- Every alcoholic I've known who drank after a period of sobriety has gone right back to the same place mentally, emotionally or physically. Not a single person has said that their life was better the second time around.
- In the six months before I got sober, I became concerned about my inability to control my drinking. So, in an effort to regain control, I quit for 30 days and tried drinking again. That brief reprieve did nothing to improve my power over alcohol.
Today, that is good enough evidence for me to believe that I stand to gain nothing by drinking again. As a matter of fact, I believe whole-heartedly that I will lose everything I value in my life if I take another drink.
In an effort to protect my sobriety from my own alcoholic and rational mind, I have warned my family that they should intervene if I ever try to tell them that "I can have one drink."
My life today is worth much more than a $7.00 martini.
Image provided by Wylio: 'Energy drinks' by Tambako The Jaguar, released on Flickr under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs License.
Doyle, B. (2015, April 9). Alcoholism Recovery is the Most Important Part of My Life, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, July 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2015/04/my-recovery-is-the-most-important-part-of-my-life
Author: Becky Doyle
Very nice article. I have to work at it every day to stay sober which is the most important thing in the world to me and can freely admit that I am an alcoholic.
Thank you so much for your comment! I completely agree sobriety and recovery must be integral parts of our lives in order to properly battle addiction. It's so hard to openly admit and acknowledge addiction in our lives, but it is so helpful once we finally do.
I love this article. The writing speaks to me. After 2 years with out a drink or street drug I get to participate in life instead of hide from it. I use a technique I call "the armor of GOD "I pray for it to every day to act as a shield to destroy negativity bombardment Plus the armor holds inside,poor choice words from forming hurtful sentences. I m into listening carefully before I speak,avoid gossip,especially at work and life just is as it is. Simple. The obsession to drink or use has been lifted but meetings and fellowship are a must even if you're a busy type of person. Job,car,love,respect,humility,soda pop,cats,and lucky me,a wife that loves me and is 100 percent behind me.
I am a recovering alcoholic. I dropped out of meetings because I want AA to fit me and not the other way around. Took me a while to see that but I know it's true. I enjoy these articles from Healthy Place because it keeps me focused but I must regain where I was going to meetings. As the saying goes,"meeting makers make it."
Hi Eric, thank you for your comments. I think a lot of people go through phases with whatever their program of recovery is. I have had times of rebellion or doubt, but I have found that it's best for me to wear it like a loose garment. I don't have to agree with everything, and certainly not every person who opens their mouth in a meeting. But I do keep coming back, because I know that I don't have any room to mess around. They say alcoholism is a progressive disease and you pick up right where you left off. So for me, that would mean death. In addition, I find that when I'm actively involved, I'm happier and feel better about life. But I can certainly understand having some resistance, especially if you are in a location where there aren't a lot of different types of meetings. Good luck to you!