There are so many times in my life I attempted sobriety. A reason would arise for me to try this battle once again. Something in my life would expose myself to the world in a painfully obvious way, that I needed to get my shit together— or else.
So, you see... it was the or else that was the drive. It was that there was something at stake that was being threatened to be taken from me, or that I would lose.
When I got in legal trouble, I got sober to abide by the ruling of the judge— right?... my freedom was on the line. When I was told if I don’t clean up my act, I’d be asked to leave my job... my employment, my financial livelihood, was at risk. When my roommates said, “if you keep on like this, you’re going to have to go,” .... my housing was being threatened. The interaction and communication with my family members was creating more and more distance because it was no secret that I was choosing alcohol over them... and so the most meaningful relationships I had were hanging on by a thread. Doctors even told me my liver had scarring and I was looking at cirrhosis… my health was in jeopardy. And with that, THOSE were reasons for me to make changes.
Now, did those dangling conditions I needed to consider, work to get me clean? The answer is, yes. However, the answer to the question, “Was it enough to keep me sober???” Unfortunately, (and I say with a heart-wrenching sadness) ... No, it wasn’t. Even all those reasons weren’t enough for any considerable length of clean time.
I mean, it worked for a minute. It gave me this boost of drive and energy. ONLY for the pure fact that in all these cases, I knew there was something to lose. When what I needed to have—I had already lost.
I had lost myself.
So, here is where I make my point... Fear is an unavoidable piece of the equation that can help in your recovery. But staying clean solely because of losing someone else or something else is not actually living in recovery.
To live in recovery, you are looking to gain things! To get back your confidence, your self-respect, your personality, new experiences, new qualities... to get back your whole “self” in its entirety.
I stay sober today not because my focus is driven by an outside fear of losing something, but because... with work, I will find, and gain, the ME again. I am staying sober for myself.
P.S. I'm Grateful.