I can still remember my first 30 days of sobriety with a surprising amount of clarity. I never want to go back there. Becoming clean and sober was all-consuming for me, every waking, breathing hour was occupied by avoiding the mental torment of giving into the cravings I had for alcohol. I attended my 12-step program meetings daily, called others in recovery, went to my outpatient classes, and was still at a loss for how to stay sober.
I relapsed continually and was given the label as a chronic relapser. I did everything my inpatient counselors, outpatient counselor, sponsor, A.A. old-timers, and private counselor told me to do. I would piece together a few days, weeks, or even months and I’d once again succumb to my nemesis.
Somewhere along my path, with a lot of education and knowledge I learned from my relapses, AA, and experience with a variety of AA alternatives, I’ve won the battle. It’s a battle I will have to fight every day for the rest of my life. I absolutely cannot become complacent. I am still very careful to guard my dormant addiction, and it can rear its ugly head at any moment. After all, I have a disease that tries to tell me I don’t have a disease. If you are looking for Caron Treatment centers that can comprehensively help you with your mental health concerns, substance abuse issues, and any underlying conditions that are causing you to have a higher chance at relapsing, then you should see a Caron Treatment Program Review.
In my treatment, I learned that one has to work as hard at recovery as you worked to sustain your addiction. Maintaining an addiction is time-consuming, after all. You must acquire the alcohol. I wasn’t necessarily drinking every day, but each binge required a trip to the liquor store.
I avoided buying too much all at once, to somehow dissuade myself from drinking consecutive days. But I had to buy enough, a sufficient quantity to avoid my biggest fear—running out. Too many of my friends had received DUIs and put other people’s lives at risk, so I vowed to never drive while under the influence. I had to be prepared for my binge knowing I would be unable to get more. Then, I would spend an extraordinary amount of time actually drinking. For an alcoholic with a high tolerance, this was a few hours of heaving imbibing. And finally came the longest time commitment of all: recovering from the drinking episode. When I first got sober, I told my counselor I felt like getting sober was a full-time job. She said: “Excellent, then you’re doing it right.”
I wasn’t one of the lucky ones who walked into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting for the first time, had a miraculous epiphany and never had the urge to drink again. I would go as late as I could, sit in the back, look at no one, and leave as soon as the meeting was over. I would roll my eyes at all the acronyms and slogans flying around the meetings such as Live and Let Live. I got a Big Book, read it, got a sponsor, and worked the steps. I went to meetings every day. I even began to come a little early, got a service commitment, and horror of all horrors spoke up at the podium a few times. Got the coins, put them in my pocket where they went through the wash. I shut up and listened as I was told to do. I just continued with my routine. Today, I know I can stay sober and you can too.