Getting sober and staying sober is a wondrous journey that will take you on many different twists and turns. The work of getting sober isn’t always easy. For some of us, it takes many tries and a Herculean effort to get there. Staying sober is a challenge as well. We may have cravings, powerful feelings that threaten to sweep us away. We may have life changes that are so big and so intense that staying sober through them feels almost impossible — but we do it. In honoring myself in sobriety my recovery has to always be my number one priority. This is not always easy and frankly sometimes as life has gotten better it can feel almost impossible, but I know what happens when I become complacent. It always ends in pain and heartbreak.
As an addict, my first inclination when confronted with a challenge is to use. It’s gotten better, of course. There was once a time when using was my response to waking up in the morning, trying to sleep at night, dealing with irritation, loneliness, boredom and frustration. It was the only way I knew how to celebrate and have fun, and the only way I knew how to deal with anger, heartbreak and grief.
I’ve come along way since then. I can’t remember the last time I felt the need to use in order to wake up in the morning or go to sleep at night. However, I am still very much an addict, and when confronted with life’s big challenges, there are still times when my old “solutions” to dealing with problems creep up on me. Still, I manage to stay sober, one day at a time.
This is huge, if you think about it. I have beat some serious odds. Statistically speaking, I have a 1 to 3 odds of relapsing at any given time. These are the actual documented statistics although it would seem anecdotally speaking that the statistics of relapse are higher. I’m not supposed to be sober, I’m supposed to be in jail or in an institution. I’m supposed to be homeless, living in squalor and degradation. At one time in my life, I was certain this would be the case. I had resigned myself to a life of miserable addiction, and in a sad, pathetic way, accepted the fact that I wouldn’t ever be able to hold a job or parent my children.
Recovery Is A Transformation
All my worst fears for myself didn’t come true, though. I hit bottom after bottom, but in the end, I chose recovery. I got sober and I rebuilt my life. Through numerous challenges I beat the odds. And for that reason, I choose to honor myself in my recovery. I choose to celebrate the fact that I get up each day and make the decision not to change the way I feel via drugs and alcohol. This decision has helped me to create a life that I love and am proud of. It doesn’t mean I am perfect, or that I don’t have bad days or don’t have to deal with life on life’s terms, but it does mean that today, life is good, I am sober, and I get to be present for myself and my family.
Honoring Myself In Recovery
Sure, I celebrate my yearly recovery birthdays, but throughout the year, I also choose to honor myself and my life as a clean and sober individual. I honor myself through self-care and self-compassion.
One way I do this is to honor my feelings. For years, I tried to stuff them down, to ignore them, to ridicule them and to not acknowledge them. Today, I honor them, even the ones that seem silly or petty. Even when they are angry and dark. I acknowledge them with compassion.
I honor the challenges I have faced, and I acknowledge the ways in which they have shaped the person I have become.
I acknowledge the things that I have done well. In the past, it was all about my mistakes and what I wasn’t doing right. Today, I am happy to remind myself of all the times I have succeeded, even when the success was small. I honor the times I have done the right thing, and I honor what I like about myself.
Sometimes, I choose to treat myself. Doesn’t have to be something big, but just something that reminds me that my life today is about choice. I can choose to do something special for myself because I have worked hard to make that possible. So I do it!
Honoring Yourself In Your Recovery
Every single day you spend sober is a win. Every single time you do the next right thing, you are successful. Each time you make a mistake and own up to it or learn from it, you are being awesome. Each time you make it through a challenge or sit through difficult feelings, you are becoming stronger. It’s important to honor these things, and to acknowledge them. If you are sober today, celebrate it. You don’t have to wait for your birthday to honor yourself in your recovery.
> > > Meet the Author
Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children, she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently, Rose is the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.