I’m wishing everyone a Happy New Year. And a sober one should help ensure that. When I look back over my 21 and a half years of sobriety, I can honestly say that the biggest obstacle I faced was fear. Fortunately many of the fears I had turned out to be the boogeyman, and the ones that turned out to be real, helped me to grow and become a stronger person. So while not everyday may bring us happiness, we cannot fail to be happy by facing our fears, knowing that we will find greater strength in doing so.
Although I’ve made progress in not being the “funny guy” all the time, I never want to completely stop being one. It’s helped me to see the humor in many circumstances that used to upset me, and I believe that laughter can actually be a healing experience. Today I realize how important it is to be able to laugh when things go wrong and also to be able to laugh at ourselves. Being able to do that is a sign of growth. It shows we can be happy with who we are, even when we do something goofy. And it’s a great asset to have in sobriety.
I’m still working on my book, plus it still needs to be edited. I had hoped to have it done and published much sooner, but that’s OK. I couldn’t have added some of the things I did without the experiences I had over the past two years. They say good things take time, and although my book is already good, with a little more polishing, it promises to be a very good book. I’ll try to add a few new posts in the meantime, and I want to thank all my blog readers for being patient while I’m still polishing. 🙂
Although statistics show that less than half of those who remain sober for a year relapse, and less than 15 percent relapse after five years of sobriety, you should still realize that it is a possibility, especially if one is prone to having relapses of the emotional kind. This is when our thoughts and behaviors become similar to the negative ones we had when using a substance and we find it hard to reverse them. Personally, I don’t worry about drinking again when I have an emotional relapse—my behaviors aren’t nearly as bad as they were back then, and I’m able to change my thoughts to more positive ones. And although I do have a healthy fear that under the right circumstances, I could find myself thinking about getting drunk, it would take a lot for me to do so. Along with some huge resentment, tragic circumstance, or complete nervous breakdown, I’d have to entertain the thought of drinking for a long time first, and then decide to drive to a bar, go inside, order my first beer, and then actually pick it up and drink it.
I’m not trying to be arrogant here. I’m fully aware that some drugs are more addicting than others; heroin and prescription painkillers come to mind, as do the unfortunate deaths that can occur from abusing them. However, I don’t believe that relapse is a part of recovery but a part of addiction. It’s a part with the power to kill, which is why I believe it’s important for people to hear that not only is recovery possible, but so is finding greater happiness in life. Today, I know that drinking wouldn’t make one thing better in my life or replace what I’ve found in my sobriety.
I also know that even after all these years sober, it still doesn’t make sense to me to have only a few beers, so I’m sure I’d get shitfaced right from the start.