I did not know which group to join… or who would have me.
Was I an addict who drank too much or an alcoholic who also did drugs every day? That decision was beyond me.
I didn’t want to be both. That seemed like way too many meetings, and I was already very busy getting loaded around the clock.
So I did nothing, for a bunch more years. And not surprisingly, things continued to get worse.
Today, I am so grateful for the countless resources available to me, whenever I need help. I always feel welcome in the company of my friends and neighbors in recovery.
I could not do this by myself.
I sit in difficult places…
I’m not saying I like how it feels, but discomfort often brings about dramatic change.
I’m in it for the growth.
* Artwork by Giorgio Pignotti
I feel big success in the little things I do. Preparing my children’s lunches, making up the beds and returning phone calls.
Very few days are this quietly productive. It’s almost strange. I am grateful for these breaks in the excitement.
* Artwork by Daryl Zang
When I was drinking and using, I only did cool stuff in my mind. It sucked as far as real life goes.
* Artwork: Impermanence by Seung Hwan
Shame is an unpleasant emotion. When I was using, I did my best to avoid it. The guilt was bad enough. But at least with guilt, I was motivated to correct the things I’d screwed up.
The shame was far worse. It separated me from myself and others. I felt disconnected from everything. I did my best to pretend the embarrassment and discomfort weren’t there, and my addiction grew. It created in me a chronic sense of worthlessness that I kept trying to ignore. I covered up these feelings by getting high. Escape was an easy way to alleviate the pressure, at least for a little bit.
Once I began to recover, I started feeling strong enough to look inside myself at some of the true sources of my pain and confusion. Therapy helped me change the discouraging messages I told myself. Exposure to a reliable community of sober individuals reinforced my own positive self-talk.
Prayer started to make sense. God opened my heart and made it possible for me to practice forgiveness – across the board. I forgave everyone, including myself. It felt great to let all that garbage go.
I found so many ways to keep my sobriety fresh and new. These powerful resources help me stay clean to this day.
* Artwork by Gottfried Helen
One of the awesome advantages of being sober…
Is not having to defend and explain my behavior all the time.
I’m figuring out how to make simple, smart decisions, without all that melodrama and justification.
* Artwork by Alexey Slur
One of the perks of being sober…
Is having a little extra money to do some of the things I always said I was gonna do, but never did, because I was drunk.
* Artwork: Le Pianoquarium by Cyril Rolando
One of the subtle benefits of sobriety…
Is not passing out during things I really should be awake for.
* Artwork by Martin Wehmer
One of the simple joys of sobriety…
Remembering all the details of parties and not feeling horrified.
* Artwork by Meghan Howland