How I've Maintained Long-Term Sobriety

Lessons of addiction recovery I've learned along my sober journey. Tricks of the trade, one may say.

Quite a chunk of time has passed since my last blog post, hasn't it? Meh, no matter. Tomato, tow-mot-o.

It's wild to think I am three years, nine months, and twenty-two days sober. If someone had told me in January of 2020 (admittedly the second worst month of my entire life) that my life was on the brink of positive change, I would have farted in their face. Yet it was true. On July 8th, 2020, my life changed forever by getting sober. But that is not what this post is about. I've written three books and many posts on that particular topic.

No, this post is about how I've stayed sober all that time. And since I don't enjoy long, drawn-out posts, here are the five reasons I believe I've stayed sober for nearly four years: 

  1. My cat Klaus. And yes, he's named after the infamous vampire from The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. When you feel ready, adopting a pet can help with responsibility while also providing a companion who genuinely understands you. Seriously. Klaus understands me on a cellular level and I am convinced I would have relapsed had I not adopted him.
  2. An outlet of energy other than booze or drugs. In my case, this outlet manifested in the form of writing. But it can be anything! It doesn't have to be artistic, it can be physical or spiritual, as well. The only requirements is that this outlet moves your soul. For years, I thought only vodka could move my soul, but I was tragically wrong. And never fear, listen to your innermost self and they will provide you with your outlet. It's been there all along, if only we'd asked sooner.
  3. Take pride in your home space. For years, when I wasn't in a sober home, I slept on a blow-up air mattress in a small apartment with no decorations or furniture. Do not live this way! It is a recipe for certain disasters. We need our own spaces where we feel safe and secure to unwind from the stresses of life. Decorate in whatever style suits you, there are no rules! Anarchy and eclectic design is my personal favorite.
  4. Find forgiveness and hope. What more can I say? Forgive yourself for your actions/behavior during your active addiction. While we cannot excuse our horrid actions/behavior, we can forgive ourselves for having a valid and legitimate disease that alters our brain chemistry. We must cease berating ourselves and start loving ourselves, with a hope for a better and brighter future.
  5. Set and maintain strict boundaries. Upon sobriety, I set boundaries in several different forms: personal, situational, and locational. From the beginning, I chose to limit my time around alcohol or those consuming alcohol, and it is a boundary I've kept until this day. Personally, I'm not interested in the company of people partaking in alcohol after they've consumed two drinks. We change after two drinks. The drink makes us too talkative and impaired. It's honestly a rather grim vibe, but I am not knocking anyone who drinks responsibly. You do you and I'll do me and we shall remain "practically perfect in every way," to quote Mary Poppins.

Also, don't worry about a miraculous, white-light moment of surrender. I made that mistake as well. Sometimes our quietest, smallest moments carry the most potent power. Mine happened on an ordinary night at an ordinary vanity, yet, looking back, the moment was absolutely extraordinary.

Anyways, I've rambled long enough. Take care of yourself and have fun!

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