The longer I stay sober, the more I wonder just how and why exactly I have done it. When I was using, I was convinced I was going to live at least some form of that lifestyle forever. I loved it far too much, so why would I give it up?
But somehow, some way, I have managed to stay sober for over 2 years now. Why is that exactly? For me, I believe it is because I have found a way of life that has become more appealing than what I had before.
Not wanting what I had
A lot of people talk about reaching a bottom, or arriving at a place in their using where drugs and alcohol no longer work for them. Usually this is coupled with a feeling of desperation that makes the attraction of a sober lifestyle all the more appealing. This wasn’t the case for me.
What I was willing to admit, though, was that what I was doing was not working. I had been fired from my job, lost most of my friends and was on the verge of being homeless. I knew that I needed a change, even if I didn’t want it. It just had to be different. Whatever way you find yourself on the doorstep of recovery, it doesn’t really make much of a difference.
I think a large part of why I used in the first place was because of the lack of real connection in my life. Despite evidence to the contrary, I always felt disenfranchised, disconnected and not a part of my peer group. Drugs provided a pseudo-feeling of reassurance and reliability that I was lacking, and they did it very well.
But since I had always felt this way, I wasn’t aware that those things were still available to me. While in my addiction, they didn’t seem attainable. On top of that, I didn’t even know what I was missing, which left me feeling as if there was nothing that I was missing out on. I simply used this feeling as fuel to keep living the life I had been living.
Finding a life worth living
Yet once I was given the opportunity to get sober, I finally got a clear perspective on what was possible. All those aspirations that seemed so out of reach were a little bit closer and with enough time and with enough time and support I was able to attain them.
I rebuilt the relationships with my family and friends, most of which are better now than they have ever been. I set goals for myself with my career and not only achieved them, but also have a better idea of what it is I want to do with my life rather than simply treading water to get by. I also have the reliance of faith, knowing that so long as I put in the work and take certain steps, things will turn out the way they are supposed to, even if that wasn’t the way that I imagined.
Living a sober lifestyle has granted me things I didn’t even know that I wanted. I am simply no longer willing to cash in my chips for the lifestyle I led before, because I see the promise of a better one unfolding right in front of me.