A good friend of mine and I had a discussion last night about how you can tell who will make it in sobriety and who won’t. This is a favorite topic of mine as I was voted the least likely to stay sober in my treatment center class. I’m one of the few who isn’t only sober and successful, I’m not dead. Such is normally the case – the one’s who you think don’t have a chance usually do well. Those you think have a decent chance often end up feeding worms.
There are a few things that separate the winners from the dead or dying:
- In my case, I made a decision, two weeks into treatment, that I would not only give sobriety a chance but I’d give it everything I had. We often say in recovery circles, as long as I give sobriety half the effort I put into drinking, I can’t lose. There’s a lot of truth to that simple statement.
- That decision has to be a full time commitment. Nothing, and I mean nothing comes before my sobriety. There is a simple reason for this; without my sobriety, there is nothing else. There’s no wife, no relationship with my kids, no job, no house, car or pet… Some will throw in, “except God” but that’s unnecessary. It goes without saying for those of us who believe in a Higher Power.
- The decision doesn’t mean I’m 100% on-board at all times. Sometimes I didn’t want to drink just 51%… the key is that I don’t ever let it get to 49%-51%.
- I had to pick up the phone. My ego screwed with me bad when it came to sobering up. I had a hard time asking for help from my new sober friends so I mistakenly thought I should be able to go it alone, a lot like how I drank. Ignorance isn’t always bliss. Once I popped my head out of my ass and started calling on those who offered their help, my life got a lot better and happier.
- Above all else, the honesty displayed in item 4 is indispensable. I had to stop looking outside me for something to blame for my predicament and start focusing on my biggest problem: Me.
- Finally, when in doubt, reverse the order and work backwards. Honesty, ask for help, 51% to 49%, remember the decision…
Sobriety is the only path to a happy life for me. I am a pickle, and once a pickle you never get to go back to being a cucumber. I accept who I am and embrace what I have to do to remain happy. There is no scenario where I am drinking and happy. Those two are incompatible and as long as I remember that, I’ve got a chance.