Ok, so I haven’t written about my sobriety or recovery in a little while. I will tell you I am strong and healthy in it. I am doing well. However, I am noticing a disturbing trend: many of our fellow writers are tormented with recovery “shoulds,” and rules that are really myths. So I’d like to share my own two cents on this.
First of all, I am not sure counting recovery days is a sound practice. But I do see it’s value for many people. What I don’t think is healthy is folks who feel as though they must reset their sobriety date because of a slip; a perceived relapse. Also, get rid of should haves, would haves, could haves; they are all self-defeating and serve no purpose in your long-term recovery plans.
ONLY I CAN PREVENT MY RELAPSE–NO OTHER PERSON, PLACE OR THING CAN
A slip is just that: you drank or used and the next day you realized the error of your ways, and so you re-devoted yourself to your sobriety. Plain and simple, forgive yourself! Be compassionate to yourself and just keep on keeping. Your sobriety date need not change!
A relapse is a more prolonged conscious decision to pick up again. A relapse can go for several days, or several months. In my opinion a prolonged relapse warrants a recovery date reset. A relapse of an extended length kind of defeats the purpose of having a recovery date.
I TELL MYSELF EVERYDAY: I WILL DRINK TOMORROW, BUT NOT TODAY
As far as judging yourself for the feelings you are having: STOP IT! It is OK to feel whatever feelings you are feeling at the time you are feeling them! Emotions are going to get a lot stronger than they are weaker, I can attest to that personally!
We used to numb feelings. We used to escape. We used to isolate and avoid. Now that we are not using, we are faced with the things that we tried so hard to avoid: FEELINGS. So, please, fellow drunks and addicts, give yourself a break! Accept yourself in the situations you find yourself in and do the best you can! Love yourself as much as you can while you are learning to be yourself once again.
THERE IS A SIMPLE FACT THAT KEEPS ME SOBER: PICKING UP IS NOT AN OPTION!
I care about each and every one of you and your struggles. I may not always get a chance to read all your posts, but you can ALWAYS reach out to me if you need a friend. You can ALWAYS email me just to vent. I know what it’s like to struggle. I know what it’s like to be alone. I know what it’s like to fight for each hour on some days.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Email me any time: firstname.lastname@example.org. I really do care. If I can help someone struggling, then that helps my struggle too!