Tag Archives: sober

Why I Blog

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Mine is not a story with a “high bottom”

Mine is not a story that engenders sympathy

Mine is not a story that you would wish upon a loved one

Mine was a story of guilt

Guilt for drinking, blacking out, hurting, lying, deceiving

Guilt for letting loved ones down

for taking advantage of people

for damaging relationships faster than I could repair them

Mine was a story of selfishness, of ego, of blindness and uncaring

I drank to live

I drank to hide from fear

I drank to find love

Mine was a story of shame

Shame that disallowed me from looking in the mirror

Shame that had me feeling lesser than

feeling broken

Shame that taught me to hate myself

Mine was a story of fear

Fear that gripped me with self-limiting beliefs

that had me reminding myself daily of how little I was capable of

that had me never trying something new

that never let me grow

that always gave me nightmares

that never let me dream

Mine is now a story  of courage

to seek out challenges

to look within myself and to heal myself

Mine is now a story of strength

to be vulnerable and transparent

to ask for help

to be honest with myself

Mine is now a story of growth

through self-discovery

through freely giving of myself

through listening, learning and living

Mine is now a story of opportunity

of pride, of progress, of failure

but failing forward

always forward

I will never stop failing

but it will never

disallow me,

it will never stop me from

 moving forward

You Are Not Alone

Mindset is everything

Surround yourself with people that believe in you

Weed out those who do not

For years I had filled my head with self-limiting beliefs. It was a struggle to find the courage, the fortitude to finally get sober. There burned within me the flame of freedom that had never died but was lost amid the anger, resentments, expectations and fear. Once I had found that flame, or it found me, I was able to light the way out of the rabbit hole of addiction.

This journey is made possible by a series of decisions that were made by and for me. By evaluating what is important to me, how I had disallowed myself from fully realizing those things and starting the process to correct those missteps I have been able to stoke the flame of freedom into a full-on bonfire (and not the kind in the sandpit as a teenager fueled by confusion, misguided decisions, cheap beer, stolen liquor and pallets). This journey out of the rabbit hole, this fanning of the flames of freedom has also been made possible in large part by surrounding myself with people who believe in me.

This is not an indictment of the many people who I have at one time or another shared oxygen, shared time, shared space with. There are many relationships that were begat of convenience, circumstance and substances but they were passed by the executive branch in my head when they should have been vetoed. However, in order to put myself in the best position to succeed in sobriety, to best improve myself, to grow I had to weed out the relationships built in a life of fear and build relationships in this new life of courage, compassion and conviction.

It is these relationships that I can turn to in darker times when it seems that the fire has grown dim and the rabbit hole is close to foot. It is in these relationships that I can find strength when my own seems to falter. It is these relationships that I can turn to for a hug when all that seems to make anything better is the knowing, understanding, forgiving embrace of a loved one.

Do you have an active support system?

Do you turn to anyone to help you through the darker times?

Do you seek the counsel of mentors? of partners? of family?

Growth Through Accountability

“The only consistent feature of all my past dissatisfying relationships is me.”

The term relationship applies not only to people but to situations, tangibles and ideas. In my former life of substance abuse many were the relationship I had that I looked to blame the other side for my negativity. I would look to blame coworkers for their lack of contribution to the team; I would look to blame circumstance for not providing me what I wanted; I would look to blame the belief in a system for not being able to supply me with a feeling of completeness; I would look to blame my relationship with alcohol for all of my terrible decision-making. Wherever there was a problem I could be certain to find that the fault laid with anything but me.

Getting sober was the first step in self-discovery in which I began to find the truth of the matter. The truth was that I spent years looking to condemn any and everything else for my problems. The truth was that I spent too much energy blaming and not enough energy taking full responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions. When I fully realized the concept of accountability I found the strength necessary to free myself from the shackles of self-pity, self-centeredness, self-doubt and self-limiting beliefs.

A wonderful transition into a new way of thinking occurred. By seeking truth I found my true self. I identified my fears that kept me from growing, from learning, from living a life that I am capable of living. I found a way to live fully with full responsibility and to love fully.

I am still learning to love myself. There is, however, no longer a fear to fully love those in my life that enrich my existence, that compel me to move forward, that help to let me feel whole. I am no longer burdened and broken and looking to blame. I am happy.

Show massive gratitude at all times. I am grateful for my  sobriety.