There is this app on my phone that beeps at me everyday, it’s not an annoying notification like most of the alerts I get….this one is something I look forward to. That high-pitched beep is a sobriety indicator, firing me a daily message to tell me how many days I’m sober.
It also allowed me to insert how much I spent (on average) on booze in my drinking days to see how much money I’ve saved over time.
How ridiculous is it that I’ve saved over $38K??? That’s enough to build the addition on our home! Not like we could actually afford for me to have been spending that much on alcohol in the first place, but this indicator brings home to me each day the reality of how my life has change.
Over the last 4 years I can say that my life has changed but the most drastic change has happened within myself. At first the road of sobriety looked bleak; like staring into a black hole with death staring at me in the face frightening. As I stood at the precipice, one thing was startlingly clear: my life drinking was going to kill me and the road sober held more hope.
Just an inkling, not a beacon of hope….just a little flicker that I MIGHT actually find that feeling of enjoying life which others seemed to have naturally.
My journey into alcoholism was riddled with dark valleys just as my journey in sobriety has been to where I am today. Thankfully I’ve written about it here, it allows me to go back in time and see my thoughts and feelings as I learned how to live and who I am without my best friend (booze) to escape with. Dealing with the bullshit of life ain’t easy and I’ve often wished I could ‘numb’ it all out with just a drink or two but so far I have managed to keep myself from doing that.
So far I’m sober.
Recently I was at my sister’s 25th anniversary party, there were over a hundred people celebrating this union of 2 hilarious, fun and very committed people. I was having a GREAT time when someone walked around the corner and caught my heart. As I stared into this woman’s massive ice-blue eyes, my heart filled with joy and I hurried over for a bit hug. This is a woman whom I’ve known most of my life, someone I hadn’t expected to see in the rooms of my first 12 Step recovery meetings.
She has been with me on the sober road from the beginning, she’s wiped my tears and listened to me rage about my disease, my behaviours and regrets. She is immersed in my memories of recovery and here she stood in person after far too long of not seeing her.
I hadn’t seen her simply because I haven’t been attending meetings. This last year I’ve been attending meetings at a rehab center and a correctional institute, I’ve been helping lead the meetings instead attending my own home group. Leading meetings is a positive, it’s being of service to others but what had I been actively doing to ensure my own recovery is solid?
With just an hour of catching up with my darling friend, I was firmly reminded by her that I too NEED meetings. I need to get back into the growth which I’ve only had when I was regularly attending. For me this works; this practice of listening to the experience of others and sharing my own helps me process my emotions and build up my spiritual strength.
Just Being Sober Isn’t Enough
My blue-eyed friend was placed in my path again by God, to remind me and yes to give me a wee slap.
I’m so glad God will slap my inattentive self into line now and again!
Since the meeting, I’ve asked her to become my sponsor and I’ll be working on the steps with her soon. I’ll be sharing again here on SoberJulie.com….and while I’m excited there is still a part of me which is over-confident and thinks I don’t ‘need’ this. That’s the part of me worthy of ignoring as I walk back into HOPE.
Just being sober through life isn’t enough for me, if I continue like this I run the risk of drinking again. With a constant pursuit of spiritual fitness, I will see my purpose clearly and life improves each day. This year of lackadaisical recovery has been riddled with fears, worries and other negative emotions which I haven’t been dealing with. It’s time to bite the bullet and get back to the place where I’m consciously turning to God for strength to deal with life head-on.
So here we go, into the mire of every-day living with eyes wide-open.