What has surprised you the most about sober living?
Finding enjoyment and pleasure in life without the use of a substance.
What is your greatest joy today?
Being able to be present not only for those around me but for myself. For so long I kept away from others in a deep isolation. I thought it to be too difficult to involve myself in real life. Now I get to be a part of the world and not because I have to.
What new hobbies have you explored in Recovery?
Spending time with other addicts in recovery and sharing my experience, strength and hope whenever I get the chance to. Being open with anybody at all in a public manner wasn’t even a reality for me while actively using. Now I’m open minded to the opportunity whenever it arises.
If you could plan a perfect day for yourself, what would it involve?
I’m grateful today that the most perfect days I’ve had since entering recovery were not planned. They just happened, because I was able to wake up alive and clean and be present for another day. No matter the weather, the season or the time, I just enjoy the opportunities I get to spend with other recovering people and my family who I love and no longer take for granted.
What tool(s) do you rely on when you’re having a bad day?
Recovery has afforded me so many tools to help me get through any situation. I no longer have to get over them, around them or anything else. I reach out to other people in recovery who are there for me as I try to be for others. I practice prayer and meditation in my life. The wonderful gift of just being able to stop and breathe, as simple as it sounds, has been a life saver for me. Staying out of my own head isn’t always the easiest thing to do but it’s the best thing for me.
Name one of your goals for the future.
Each and every day my goal is to stay clean for another day. To stay in position and remain present for those around me who depend on me, for those who have yet to find recovery. I try not to focus too far ahead–yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. I’m grateful to be able to have the hope that I will be able to see each day through and experience the next mystery.
What’s one piece of advice you have for someone just starting their journey in Recovery?
Do your best, tell the truth, and love with all you have. Remember–it’s about progress, not perfection. If we were perfect we wouldn’t be human. Each of us is exactly where we need to be and that’s beautiful. Life on its own terms isn’t always to our liking and may not seem easy. But if it were easy we would have dealt with it long ago. Remain grateful for what you have, not upset about what you don’t, because we are never sure how much time we have left here. Allow yourself to shine for the person that you are not who you think everyone else wants you to be, because in the big scheme of this life we have ourselves. And who you are is absolutely beautiful. Don’t forget to love yourself and be open minded to love from others.