Some people have asked me if I can drink again after 25 years of sobriety. I really believe I can’t because my addictions are still present in my life. I have days when some of my old negative thinking is tripping me up, or something happens that makes me want to take a drink. Also, I might be surprised by the smell of a burning joint, or see some of my favourite liquor bottles when I didn’t expect it, or find a few beers in the fridge when I am struggling, and the desire to drink can come on incredibly strong.
It is all of those signs that remind me that I cannot take my sobriety for granted. I believe that I can’t afford to take even one drink or a single toke, because I would soon be drinking/using daily, and I believe I would fall harder and faster and farther than I ever did in my drinking and drugging days.
So what do I do to stay sober today?
- While I rarely go to an A.A. meeting these days, I still think about the A.A. program and work on specific steps that hit home, whether it means going right back to Step 1 or thinking deeply about Steps 9 or 10, and continuing to practice the program and share its message with other alcoholics (Step 12).
- I strive to walk on a spiritual path, living my life with intention and love (not that I manage that every day …).
- I connect with nature (Mother Earth), because that brings such joy to my daily life.
- And connecting with nature helps me to remember to breathe, to breathe deeply when I am feeling stressed or tempted to take a drink. Taking those breaths slows me down and lets me make a choice … to stay sober for today.
I am so grateful to have made it to 25 years of sobriety. To remember that gratitude when the chips are down, I breathe, just breathe.