Now that I am starting to get a little bit of time sober under my belt, the days seem to go by a lot faster. I spend less time thinking about the struggle to stay sober, and more time thinking about what the next indicated action is to remain on the right path to recovery.
For the first year of my sobriety I can easily say that the obsession was not removed from my life in the least. There was not even a small portion of me that wanted to drink or use, because my life had gotten very unmanageable. But, I still had that thought of alcohol pop up in my head quite often, which scared me a lot. Now, I don’t think about what it would be like to drink again. I just stay grateful for the time I have, and contemplate the next move I need to make to keep what I have been given. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to practice the principals I have been taught in New Life House and Alcoholics Anonymous. As well as it being a great opportunity to work a solid program, and have a lot of fun in sobriety.
Last years holiday season was a time of my life I will never forget. I spent that time in New Life East with all of my friends in the house. I have a vivid image in my memory of all of us scrambling around putting up Christmas decorations, and making trips to the mall to pick out our gifts for our families, and one another. I remember sitting in the back seat of a car on the way to the mall wondering, “How did this happen? How did my life go from what I was doing, to doing this?”
Before I got sober I never had that experience. I wouldn’t buy gifts for my family, let alone even want to spend time with them on the holidays. I had few friends that I would be hanging out with, and if I was with company we certainly wouldn’t be putting up decorations, buying gifts, or even having quality conversations. I do have beautiful memories of Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations from when I was a kid, up until the age of 14. When I started drinking and using though, I let all of that slip away. I kept those memories in my back pocket, but I tried to keep them safely tucked away so I didn’t have to think about what I was giving up to keep the life that I was living. That life lasted about 6 years until I got to the point where I wanted to have those beautiful moments again, but I was too deep into the disease of alcoholism to be able to spend time with my family without drinking. So, I kept my life a secret and stayed on my own until near my 21st birthday when I got sober.
Nowadays I have everything I could possibly want. I have an amazing support group, and the best relationship with my family I’ve ever had! I solidly look forward to being able to sit around the Christmas tree with loved ones and be able to remember every minute of it. The best thing about the holidays now is that every moment of it is a memory I will never forget. If last year was great, I can only look forward to this year being just as good or better. There’s new people in my life since then, stronger relationships built with the people from the last year, and an even better connection to my family. As long as I stay sober, and take the necessary steps to continue building my connection to my higher power, my life can only get better and better. I know there will be more amazing memories to come!