Mike’s Story of Getting and Staying Sober
When I came in I was defeated. I couldn’t hold onto a job, a relationship, or anything really. My life was miserable because I drank, and I drank to escape it. I had tried everything I could think of to try to stay sober (including moving 2,000 miles from home) and hadn’t found anything that could end the pattern of chronic relapse that had been my life for years. And so, after crashing another car and losing another job I tried rehab again.
I didn’t know how this rehab would be different than the last one I’d been to, but I had no idea how to stay sober either. When I arrived I was very much treated as an individual, unlike the psychiatric wing that was the last institution I’d been to. We got to the root of why I was unable to achieve sustained sobriety and I learned how to do things differently. It’s entirely possible that I’d heard these things before, but I’d run out of the self-will necessary to keep thinking I knew better than those who could actually stay sober.
Willing To Try Anything
When I came in I thought meditation was just something hippies did on communes and monks did in monasteries, but I was willing to try anything. Now it’s a major part of why I’m still here and I credit meditation with being responsible for a handful of significant epiphanies along the way.
So I was newly sober and unemployed in an unfamiliar city (Los Angeles) without a car asking myself, “What now?” Even though I wasn’t a client anymore, that treatment center asked how they could help and offered me a job. It didn’t seem like much at the time, but it kept me thinking about sobriety and held me accountable when I might’ve relapsed in those first few months out of treatment. It was the first job that I didn’t hate. Now, they offer many of the clients some sort of internship because so many of us come in broke and unemployed.
Keeping His Sobriety
In my experience getting sober is just a part of it, so much more is required to keep that sobriety. Getting back on your feet is also a huge part because sometimes it’s hard to find reasons to stay sober if you’ve got nothing to lose. The other key component to sobriety is having a sober posse to make sobriety fun and keep you going the right direction.
I’ve recently done the unthinkable – celebrated 2 years sober. I still work at the treatment center I got sober in and I’m finishing the degree I started over a dozen years ago. I’ve got my first new car because I’m not afraid that I’ll crash it or won’t be able to make payments. I have my small posse of friends that I look forward to fellowshipping with after meetings.
My life isn’t all sunshine and roses, but I have good problems. Things like being late for work because I have a job, getting parking tickets because I have a car or locking myself out of my apartment because I’m a genius. Generally speaking though, things are good and I’m happy. I haven’t been able to honestly say that since my early teenage years.
Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of being an alcoholic, addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.
I recently received the following article from one of my readers named Mike. I’m honored to share his story, hoping someone will find comfort, tools and hope in it.
If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.