This Friday I will joyously celebrate 15 years of living in recovery. I would never have expected in those early days of sobriety my life could become what it is today. Freedom is an incredible place to live.
It’s so easy to let our lives spiral out of control through our addictions. As I’ve said many times before, I come from a long line of addicts. I’m still amazed someone in our family tree could live 15 years without taking a single drink. I’m even more amazed that person is me.
I remember clearly many years ago, a guy at an AA meeting saying, “Sometimes I go for weeks and forget I’m an addict.” I could not even fathom at the time ever being able to speak those words. Today, I can honestly say that short, powerful sentence.
Alcohol and drugs no longer have a hold on me. I no longer think of them every moment of my life, and that is an incredible gift.
In honor of this wonderful celebration, I want to share some helpful tips that I feel have brought me to where I am today…
*4 Tips for Living Sober:
- Believe in something bigger than yourself. For me, that something is most definitely God. When I first became sober, I was not a Christian. It took me years to finally believe in Him, and let me tell you there is a reason I put this tip first. He makes sobriety so much easier!
His grace and strength are key to my recovery. Grace is what has helped me forgive myself and relax into the beautiful life I have today. His strength is what helps me get through each day without turning to alcohol or drugs.
There’s a famous saying in recovery. I recommend memorizing it:
Choose friends wisely. I completely started over with the people in my life. I had to leave behind many friends and even some toxic family members. This is incredibly important and shockingly difficult.
I’m blessed with a husband who has never had a drink in his life. He is supportive on levels I never imagined someone could support me. Our kids make me want to stay present and be able to take care of them at all times.
People you love enough to want to stay sober for are an imperative part of recovery, whether they are friends, family members, or people you are serving in a volunteer position. Engage, don’t isolate.
Find things you enjoy. I had such a hard time finding fun and laughter during the early years of sobriety. Everything I was used to doing involved alcohol.
Lately I have been throwing myself into decorating my house (more pictures to come). It was filled with hand me downs and I’m slowly replacing them with things I love and personally chose. It brings me so much joy to have a living environment covered with my personality and current style.
Seek balance. Avoid obsessions in any area: food, shopping… This one is a work in progress for me. As addicts we often swap one addiction for another far too easily. If you have been here before, you know my current struggle is food.
We all have temptations and areas we fall short. The key is finding balance through it all.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
~1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
He will show us a way out.
I’m not giving up on the food issue and will have another update for you soon. This week I will bask in my freedom from alcohol and drugs that kept me imprisoned for far too long. I’m so glad you are here to celebrate 15 long, beautiful years of sobriety with me.