Five Years Sober-Figuring Out What Matters

I was going to head to my local 12-Step group the other day to celebrate hitting five years sobriety and pick up a chip.  It totally slipped my mind.  I guess it was not that important to me to go through that ritual. Not sure what that means. Getting lazy in my sobriety?  My priorities of what’s important to me in my sobriety have certainly changed since day one.  I’ve gone from chaos to basically whittling my life down to very fundamental aspects that do not vary much one way or another day to day.  This helps  eliminate drama potential unless it occurs within those parameters.  I’ve seen too many recovering addicts living in a constant state of drama because they never got control over their surroundings. My family, my girlfriend ,my pets and a few very close friends that I have had for many years are part of that equation.  Is that sustainable with a productive and overall happy life in the long term?

I often wonder how I will react when things really spike outside the norm.  Will the thoughts of Jim Beam and cocaine cross my mind to even out the drama?  Is my program as off the 12-step beam as it is providing me with the balance for the bad times?  I got a little taste of that recently when my dog Peanut was diagnosed with Cushings disease.  Before I found out it was treatable,  I thought I was going to lose her.  I was immobilized with grief.  Drinking or drugs never crossed my mind.  What I thought about was seeking out the people in the fundamental circle I had created.  That’s my program.  Won’t say that it’s always sunny skies and margaritas(pardon the joke).  It’s a constantly evolving cycle of the peaks and valleys of life.  Just like anyone else.  It works for me.   That is what matters.

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6 Responses

  1. I'm proud of you Brian. You've worked hard, and look what you've accomplished to get to a peaceful place. Keep it up, and know there are LOTS of people out here who are supporting you…and Peanut, too! Our Vet suspects atypical Cushings for our 13-year old Lab, so we are in the midst of some supplements to try to treat it just in case. I feel the same way about dogs as you do, so I can definitely relate. Again, great job on your 5 years of sobriety!!!!

  2. As a 10 year sober gal and active AA goer, I have a couple of observations. Yes, sobriety is about balance. Those with some quality sobriety that choose to live the AA drama machine and use AA as an excuse to bow out of life's other responsibilities (family, etc.), are missing the point. AA makes it so that we can have a life outside of AA. I will say that I think getting your chip is important. It shows others that AA works, and being 'other' centered is a component of the program. From my 10 years of observation, ebbing and flowing in and out is normal. It's when you stay out and think you are 'recovered' that you are at risk. Alcohol is cunning, baffling, and powerful…real alcoholics need to show up to meetings some to see what happens to people who don't go to meetings. Congrats on your 5 years!

    1. Kristina, I am glad those things are important to you. I think anyone who believes they need those things to stay sober should embrace them. I am not you however. We are all different beings. As someone put it to me, I walked into 12-step to get back my life, not make it my life and I am happy that way.

  3. Mothers day will be my one year no drink. My biggest immediate concern about being able to stop was not about the alcohol it was about the time. So what do I do now instead of drink it up? I work full-time (thats not new) and I attend college full-time (this is new).

    While I do not know you Brian; good for you, keep it up, help everyone you can. Thumbs up from the 99% LOL

  4. Congrats on your sobriety Brian! It is a major accomplishment and how you celebrate it is totally up to you.
    I've been to many 12 step meetings, Ala Teen, AA and Ala NON… being a child of, spouse of X's 3.
    You have a great support system, keep up the great work!!

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