This month as I celebrate 31 years clean and sober, I am still in awe and very grateful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think sobriety would take me this far. That I would live this long without taking any substances whatsoever— seemed impossible in the beginning.
The world of sobriety and recovery treatment has made quantum leaps since I stopped. Alcoholism and addiction was not as openly discussed as it is today. I have witnessed more and more people come forward to share their stories and let others know that there truly is a better way than being chained to a bottle or a drug. The stigma is still there, but progress has been made, at least through my eyes.
Being that I grew up in a home where alcoholism was prevalent, the shame of it took hold of every family member. We did not discuss it, we tried to disguise and hide it from anyone outside of our walls. It was then I learned how to make excuses and lie. I certainly did not discuss what was going at home with my friends. I also was determined not to follow the path of what I saw at home, but eventually there I was on the road downhill.
It’s not so much about the amount of years I have today, it’s more about starting my day with a prayer to stay sober another 24 hours do the best I can with integrity and honesty, and when I’m wrong or hurt someone I can clear it up before anger, resentment, even ego get out of control.
I’ve learned to navigate the ups and downs of life sober with the help of so many people, we truly care about each other, it is all a gift and something I hope never to take for granted. Thank you to all who are in my life on this amazing journey