How to Maintain Sober Living
I see people in everyday life and wonder how are they able to do everyday life.........ex: when I have to move I think I will need something to help me.......when I feel depressed, I think I will need something to help me etc.....and I wonder how they do it and have done it all their lives.........I don't think people will like me if I am not medicated. I think I won't do a good enough job if I am not medicated. What is going to interest me now that I am not using? I don't know!!
I wish I could tell you that the moment you get clean, your life will be perfect. Unfortunately, that is not the truth. Life is hard, and dealing with life clean and sober is even more difficult.
That being said, dealing with life clean and sober is also incredibly freeing and wonderful. I can only speak for myself and tell you about my experiences.
My experience is that staying clean and sober AND being happy gets easier every day. I used to wake up every morning thinking about when and how I was going to get high. When I got clean, I would wake up wondering how I was going to make it through the day without getting high.
Now that it's been about 11 months, I can tell you that most mornings I wake up and don't even think about a drink or a drug. Sure, sometimes things happen in my life and I think that drinking or using a drug would make me feel better, but these thoughts are few and far between. The joy and the freedom that I have in my life today cannot even really be compared to how I felt and lived my life when I was actively drinking and using drugs
Sure, I don't get that artificial high anymore, but I also don't have to detox and come down from the high. When I think about a drink or a drug, it helps me to think about how awful I am going to feel when the effects wear off...how fleeting the high is, and how it's just not worth it in the long run.
I used to wonder how I was going to have fun without drinking or using drugs ..how I was going to have friends. Now, I have found people in my life that actually care about me and my well being - people who would do anything for me and help me in any way possible. I have the respect of my friends and my family in a way that I never did when I was drinking and using drugs.
Sometimes, life seems a little bit less 'exciting' now that I am clean, but my life is amazing. The lifestyle of using isn't exciting. It's self destructive and unbearable. Sometimes, for whatever reason, I can mistake that for excitement. What's exciting to me today is living life
clean and sober, dealing with whatever comes my way, knowing that I never again have to feel the way I felt before. I never again have to pick up a drink or a drug if I put forth the effort and turn my life and my will over to a higher power, and trust that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.
Drugs and alcohol distort reality. We think we are somehow better when we are high. What I've come to learn is that I am, without question, a better person when I am clean. I am trustworthy and reliable - I show up when I say I will and people know that they can call me for help at any time, and I will be there to help, no questions asked.
I actually enjoy my life today and I live up to my potential. I don't wake up in the morning hungover, wondering what I did the night before and wondering who I need to apologize to or who I need to avoid.
My experience is that once I got clean and sober and started living life in a productive way and doing the right thing, a lot of my fears went away. I stopped being afraid of being inadequate, and realized that I am doing my best and that is enough.
Working the 12 steps also takes away a lot of the fear and resentment that we naturally have as alcoholics and addicts. I don't want to go too much into the steps and a higher power, etc. I just want to tell you that, in my experience, every day that I don't pick up a drink or a drug, my life gets easier and it gets better. I continue to get rewards from working a 12 step program and maintaining my sobriety.
I won't lie to you and tell you that it's easy or that life gets better overnight. It's a one day at a time program - find something you enjoy for the day, and do it. If nothing else, help someone else - it will get you out of yourself for a little while, and will keep you on the right path. The more I help other people, the less I think about myself and the less time I have to sit in my own misery or pity or resentments.
My life isn't what I thought it would be, not even close. But my life is amazing and I really don't have very many complaints. I know that without a doubt, the reason my life is so great today is because I am clean and sober and have committed myself to doing the right thing and to working a 12 step program.
I urge you to try out an AA or an NA meeting if you get a chance. Also, feel free to write back to our website anytime you wish. Good luck and take care!
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