Any length to stay sober

I’ll be the first to admit sometimes I don’t go to any length to stay sober. I’ve gone a week and a half without going to a meeting, I don’t write out my Tenth Step every single night, and sometimes I procrastinate calling my Sponsor. Thankfully this program is about progress not perfection, but I’m noticing that I use that saying to put off what I know I should be doing to take care of myself and strengthen my spirituality. I work full time, go to school, practice martial arts, piano and Yoga as well as have a boyfriend, so I have plenty of excuses when I don?t feel like doing something 12 Step related.

But I was thinking today how I used to go to the most insane lengths to get drugs and alcohol. Sneaking out of my house is the first thing that comes to mind – my dad put alarms on every door and window and motion lights on every corner of the house so I had to become a ninja to even get out on the porch. I drove for hours, lied about my age, got into fist fights, had sex – I risked my life and would do pretty much anything to get the substance I wanted.

Why, lately, haven’t I been doing the same for my recovery? I’ve been taking my sobriety for granted, just assuming that the days will go by without a meeting and I won’t be tempted when someone offers me a glass of wine or a shot of whiskey. Part of it too I believe is because there are certain emotions and thoughts inside me that I’m nervous to tell my Sponsor about. I’m ashamed of anger and hurt I still feel from the past. My mind tells me I should be over it already; that I am weak and shallow because I still haven’t forgiven.

But now that we are people in recovery, we must remember that our spirituality is a cup that we have to refill each and every day. I know I need a new outlook on the past, and a renewed attitude about my present. I’ve heard it said that the first “A” in Alcoholics Anonymous stands for attitude, and the second “A” stands for action. I must take action to change my attitude. Holding back because of fear has no place in my life anymore. If we let fear take over us and keep us stuck in the same old things we’ve been mad about for years, we’ll drink or use again. And hey, what’s fear anyway but False Evidence Appearing Real?

So today I ask myself: What am I willing to do today to stay sober and be happy about it? What am I willing to do for inner peace? I’ve done crazy things to make other people happy and get my hands on alcohol and drugs. Now it’s time to renew my faith in the Steps and do whatever it takes to keep my connection with my Higher Power open and strong.

Having courage is a choice. Courage is feeling fear but moving forward anyway, having faith that everything is going to be okay and go exactly as it is meant to. So write a little note to yourself and stick it where you’re going to see it every day: your bathroom mirror, car dashboard, bedside table, or maybe all three!

Write on the note: What am I willing to do today to stay sober and be happy about it? You might be surprised at what that little reminder can do for you on a daily basis. Because ultimately, we have been brought into the 12 Steps for a reason. There are no accidents in God’s world. We are meant to be happy, joyous and free. We just have to let the Steps and our Higher Power take us there.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.