Retro Recovery: Pillars
Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.
|Published 04/12/2017 at 7:09 a.m. – Day 165 of Treatment|
It’s hard to believe that I am celebrating my 11th month of sobriety! I mean, in a way it is not, I have been doing the work and staying the course.
However, when I look back at where I was 11 months ago, trying to escape the grips of misery and hell, I could never imagined that my life would turn out so good!
I will be transitioning to a much more lenient Transition House on the 24th, about 2 hours away from this godforsaken city they call Brockton; the worse place I ever lived. The place of all my troubles. Walking out of the VA everyday to go the store, I was constantly reminded of my old life. No more, I will be in a remote part of the state, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
I was reflecting recently on what has gotten me to this point in my Recovery. And at this point it is Recovery. To me, Sobriety is getting sober, Recovery is staying sober. I have a very close friend who has done more for me in my Recovery than anyone. You know who you are.
I may not have told you this. I want you to know that your strength and determination in your own life are inspirational to me in my life! I only hope that I can give you 1/10th of what you have given me! I value your friendship tremendously, so thank you so very much for you!
I might have posted these things a bit back, but I wanted to share them with you again. Because, for me, in addition to having someone truly special in my life, it really comes down to these 5 things:
Gratitude: Being humble and grateful for what I have. Not concentrating on what I do not have. Being grateful for others and showing them gratitude for being in my life.
Acceptance: Being at peace with how things are. Being able to appreciate when I cannot control a particular situation. More importantly, accepting those around me for who they are, and accepting myself; even if I falter, as long as I continue to try to be and do better.
Mindfulness: Being aware of my emotions and controlling them. Avoiding extreme highs or lows. Being aware of the situations I find myself in and making good decisions.
Spirituality: Still seeking my ultimate Higher Power, but at least seeking! Right now I concentrate on meditating, to tap into my inner spirit. I take walks to spend time with nature, the ultimate Higher Power. I am reading books which are leading me deeper into the essence of life, of people, of myself.
Now: Spending as much time in the present moment. Avoiding a future that has not come, and a past that is no longer. I sometimes visit them, for practical purposes, but work diligently to stay in the moment. That is all I have, is Now, and I am doing the best I can not to waste it. By doing this I remain calm and in control.
And that’s it! I believe firmly that as long as I do what I can to remember these principles, I cannot fail. I have had no desire to drink, no urge to drink. I know what will happen if I drink. It is no longer an option for me, it is no longer a part of my life!
There is hope for those of you still suffering, or for those of you who know someone who is suffering! If I can do it for the first time in 35 years, I know in my heart that anyone can do it. Goodbye to misery, and goodbye to hell!