One day I'll do archive posts where you can read all my emotional spur of the moment drafts. Plus sometimes I write these heartfelt posts that are so on point with how I'm feeling in that moment and then I take some time and reflect and... I feel differently.
I have come along way since impulse writing and posting about break ups and heartaches.
I didn't write anything for the new year which is usually a huge time of reflection for me and it's a week after my 6 years sober anniversary and I am just sitting down to write. Not ok Gab.
I think what it really is is that my life is going really fucking good right now. I used to use writing as a way to cope with the chaos I was dealing with but things have been so smooth sailing. And I'm almost afraid if I post anything complaining about any aspect everything will blow up. I'm actually in the throws of a functional relationship right now and I'm not even going to tell you anything about it because it's going too well.
It's kinda like treading water right now so that things stay good. Ehhh well maybe not. Maybe this is how normal people just live life, calm and collected.
Have I finally managed to achieve balance!??!?!? No. Maybe. Let's say almost. I guess life is a balancing act that and at this stage I've almost learned to juggle. I'm by no means perfect and there are definite areas that need improvement but this is the best things have been in a while.
However I have some PTSD from the insanity that was the last decade of my life so it does feel a bit like dog paddling. But I know things are going well.
If you were to sit down and read this blog from the beginning you'd go back to when I was still drinking, and you would get to watch me get sober. It's pretty fucking cool for me to have it all in writing.
Sometimes I think maybe it's inappropriate for me to be posting things about the nooks and crannies of my recovery since I am part of an anyonmous program but I think this blog has been a huge vessel for me to share my journey and where my strength comes from.
Going from a drunk to a sober woman of grace you change physically in some ways but you mostly metamorphose from the inside out. It's emotional and it's the way you handle life.
So usually around this time I write about how I've changed and what I'm like now yada yada yada
But right now I want to make a list of how I have stayed sober over the years, the life hacks if you will.
I have had countless people reach out to me since I got sober about how I did it or just looking for advice. Usually I just give my story, lend my experience and hope they get something out of it but today I am going to tell you how I did it.
How I Stayed Sober For 6 Years:
I stopped drinking and doing drugs because I was institutionalized. Going to a mental hospital for a month and a half cuts out any possibility of having a drink.
I went to rehab for MONTHS. I was in an intensive outpatient which meant I stayed at home. Group therapy has saved my life. If you've never done it I strongly encourage finding a group. I have been in group therapy since I was 18 and it's amazing. Yeah at first I hated but now I LOVE IT.
I stayed away from men for two years. I had never been on a date before I got sober, I barely had had sober sex, I went to an all catholic girls high school where I lost all social skills with boys. I had no business messing around with guys when I got sober and I honestly stayed the hell away from them.
I got involved in service. Whether it was helping someone else get sober or doing AmeriCorps, service changed and saved my life. And now it is my life. I have found my calling and I am full time dedicated to helping others.
I learned the only persons recovery who matters is mine. Helping other people is important but you can't help someone who won't help themselves. And you can't let active alcoholics or addicts dictate your life. You need to stick with the people that want to better you and make the best choices for your recovery always.
You have to always be willing and ready to change. You can't stay stagnate. Being in recovery means you are constantly trying to make yourself a better person and you can't give up on that. You have to move forward and not backwards. Like I say, onwards and upwards yabbers.
I realized just because I got sober didn't mean life got easier. I got handed a set of tools that I learned how to use. The shittest shit ever can happen to you while your sober. But you have a new way of dealing with it that's not so painful.
I saw that this is life and death. The longer you stay sober the more people you will see go back out and die. It makes you realize how important this fight is. Young drunks don't become old drunks, they die. I wanted to live my life I wasn't ready to go.
But I also got sober to live life. So I got sober at 21, everyone was just starting to go to bars and clubs. I wasn't going to miss this party! I didn't get sober to stay in my house all the time. People still ask me how I am around alcohol so much. Well first of all, I have a large family that drinks so it would be hard to escape from completely. Secondly, I'm a loud vivacious person and I need somewhere to expel all my energy and I love to dance.
So I started by going out with sober friends to dance and then I just started to hang out with "normal drinking friends" and going anywhere I want.
If you are in the right spiritual place there is no where you can't be. However, you should make smart choices and it is not ok to drink vicariously through other people. Lesson learned.
I've come in and out of AA the past six years. I've fucking hated it and I've been so in love with it. But I keep coming back because it works for me. Do the work and put in the time. Always go to that meeting you're thinking about going to.
I say yes to anything anyone in AA asks me. Within reason... I don't have to say yes to a date but I do say yes anytime anyone asks me to be of service to another Alcoholic.
Also, I found God. From the moment I decided I was getting sober I started praying because as a good catholic girl that's what I knew how to do. The majority of 20somethings aren't living there life according to "a higher power or God". But I'm not normal. I don't talk to my friend about God all the time but it's just a huge part of my life. It's no one else's business but mine but my belief in a higher power has gotten me through the toughest times sober.
And finally, you don't have to drink over anything, ever. Period.
That's it. That's how I've come this far. And you know the biggest thing I keep with me is that I'm still learning. People have been like "holy cow! Six years that's incredible!" And like of course it is but I've just done what I was told to do. It's been fucking tough. I will say that but yeah I don't want to die and I don't want to be locked up in a mental institution for the rest of my life. So this is the path I'm on.
And you know what it's fucking cool! Sobriety is a great ride once you're on board.
6 years later and my life is fucking fantastic. I can't wait to see what the next six years have in store.