From my son, I learned: that life in sobriety is one-day-at-a-time. Recovering addicts must learn to take risks and live with courage. When Jeff went back to work in sobriety at a PR firm, he felt like he was constantly walking on eggshells, one step away from being fired every day for the first year. He didn’t feel qualified, felt in over his head, but he tried his best and became a strong employee. When he moved on to start his own company, his boss thanked him for his important contributions.
My reflection: Jeff and I spoke to a group of recovering addicts at a treatment center and, after our presentation, a seventeen-year-old boy said to Jeff, “I can’t even skateboard to the same music I used to. When I do, I think immediately of drugs.” Jeff replied, “Yep, I had to re-learn everything when I got sober. I didn’t even know what color I liked best.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Recovery requires a ‘control-alt-delete’ on the old life. Addicts know well how to exist in their illness, but when they are sober, everything is new: social time with friends, a Saturday night date, and how to be a responsible employee. Learning to live in sobriety is not easy. I respect those who stay close to the program and commit to living a healthy life in recovery.
Without recovery there is no family! For example, when my son cancelled our golf outing at the last minute and indicated he was going to an AA meeting, I didn’t take offense. In fact, I rejoiced that he put his recovery first. Each and every day he remains clean and sober is an absolute miracle. Now, the only way I could understand this concept is because I worked the steps in my own program with a sponsor and guidance from an alcohol/drug counselor. And if I had not turned my will over to the care of God I would never have found my own peace and serenity. Addiction is a terrible disease! Thanks Libby for continuing writing your blog and helping so many of us in our journey.
Dear Pat, You are SO correct — without recovery, there is no family. We took a family vacation this summer, and I told Jeff, “Things could have gone in a very different direction. I’m so grateful you are here.” He shook his head in agreement.
As you and I both know, Pat, every day is a gift. Yes, our sons must put their recovery first, and so must we.
Thanks for staying close all these years, and thanks for continuing to share your hard-fought wisdom.