In my earlier days of recovery, I was desperate to ‘get it’. I wanted the fantastic life, the gifts and rewards of sobriety that I heard others talk about. I rushed frantically and headlong into trying to find it. I had a new found energy (slightly manic) and thought I somehow had to do everything I possibly could to achieve this wonderful state of being that is ‘life in recovery’…
Of course, I wanted it all, there and then. This was the addict part of me wanting the instant gratification that made me turn to booze in the first place. I was applying the same mindset to my recovery, feeling I had to get there ASAP.
Almost ten months on, and I look around and realise that the rewards are coming to me in their own good time! I lowed down on getting to the fantastic life, and just got on with life, as it is. Okay, I made a few changes (like my job and my house!) but they were not the things that brought me to where I am now. Well, they may have contributed, but largely, it is just time that has brought me to where I am now. I look around at my life now, and things are fundamentally, yet subtly, different.
I have an extremely active life now, whereas when I was drinking all I did, pretty much, was go to work, drink, and recover from drinking.
I feel confident and have the respect of my friends and work colleagues now, whereas when I was drinking I felt constantly guilty and bad, a useless and insecure friend, a liability in the workplace with my inconsistency and regular sick time.
I make plans now. The only thing I planned when I was drinking, was when and how to get my next drink.
I can see a future now, before all I could see was a black hole of drink and an untimely death.
The chaos is slowly resolving, and what is more important, I see a way through the chaos, and can apply my problem-solving skills in order to resolve it, rather than just feeling anxious and panicky about it, and drinking more in order to blot it out!
This is at not yet a year in, so who knows what is awaiting me further down the line!
It is only with some quiet reflection time that I have come to see that the rewards of sobriety are different from what I expected, they creep upon you gradually, until one day you(I) realise…so this is what recovery feels like.