We talked this morning about how we guard our new sober lives. I know that this time around things are very different in terms of who I hang with, what daily actions or routines are non-negotiable and what self-care means for me. I have shared before that previously, when I had some sober stints, the only thing in my life that I changed was the fact that I was no longer drinking. I hung out with the same people, in the same places, doing the same things. And then wondered why I was miserable and always picking up again. But the past 17 months have been different. My daily walk with my dog = non-negotiable. My daily yoga practice = non-negotiable. My meditation practice = non-negotiable. Connecting with other sober people daily = non-negotiable. Hanging out with friends who drink = totally negotiable. Going to the pub with the gang on a Friday after the work day ends = totally negotiable. Going for dinner in restaurants where wine is the main attraction = totally negotiable.
I had it ass backwards before. I would not even consider missing out on an evening adventure with my drinking buddies. Didn’t want them to think I wasn’t as much “fun” anymore. If there was a time crunch between my walk/yoga/meditation time and going to meet people socially, my program of recovery would totally take the back seat in my prioritizing. And then I would wonder and be baffled and sad and ashamed that I had drank yet again. Laughable really if it hadn’t been so demoralizing to be on the wagon off the wagon on the wagon off the wagon.
What I have learned this time is that I must have a personal program that has meaning for me and guard it with my life. Because really my life is at stake. I don’t know if I have another day one left in me and so best not to go there. Besides my sober life rocks. I encourage anyone trying to get sober and stay that way, to really figure out what helps you to stay strong and balanced and do those things everyday without compromise. These daily habits become routine. And then when the shit hits the fan I am as strong as I can possibly be and in the best shape to know what right action in a given situation is. I guard my program with vigilance and my sobriety reflects this… Have a great day!