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Today Is My 9-Year Sober Birthday

Today I have been sober for 9 years.  That’s 108 months, 3,288 days and 78,895 hours

It’s quite incredible if you think about it.  I don’t write that to boast, brag or promote my accomplishment.  I write it, because 9 years ago, I didn’t know there was any sort of life outside alcohol and drugs.  I didn’t know how ‘normal’ people got through the day without getting drunk.

Call it naivety or just plain ignorance, but I really didn’t have a clue on how normal people conducted their lives without their primary focus being alcohol and drugs.  I didn’t know people went out to dinner, went to movies, walked in the park, rode bikes, shopped at farmers markets, and lived life: sober.

When I was in the thick of it, I was so far in to a life obsessed with ‘not being me’, ‘not wanting to be normal’ and desperately wanting ‘MORE’.  From the moment I woke up, till the time I went to bed, all I thought about was when I was going to get drunk or high again. Even when I was ‘in the moment’ of being drunk, all I did was fantasize about the next time.  Crazy?! Indeed.

The program I work says we either end up in: jail, institutions or death..I was heading for death. So in my last act of desperation, I asked God to take the obsession away from me and get me sober.  It was my last hope. He answered my prayer on March 15, 2010.

On my way to treatment, I remember saying to my brother, “How am I going to do this, all I know, to be social is to be drunk and high, I don’t think I can do this”  He said, ‘Take it one day at a time’. And from there a new journey was set forth… taking it one day at a time.

Still 9 years later, it’s an hour by hour, day by day deal for me.  There is a sobriety quote that I like: “Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow.’  If I start thinking about tomorrow, and whether or not I can drink, I am in big trouble.  Today, I try to stay in the moment and thank God for what I have and all the things that sobriety has given me.

My gratitude list expands daily.  My life gets better exponentially the longer I stay sober.  Today, I am married with 2 healthy babies. My wife understands addiction and that my alcoholism is a life or death situation.  She encourages me to be a better man, and I strive to be the best version of myself daily. My kids never have to see me drunk and at my very worst.  I am employed and love what I do for a living. I get to write my thoughts and feelings down and post them for the world to see, in hopes that maybe my story will relate or can help another struggling addict.

Today, I don’t have to worry about what I said or did the night before.  I try and do the ‘next right thing’ in all my affairs. I know that if I do that, I am going to be OK and the rest will just fall in to place according to His will, not mine.  My friendships are solid, my family enjoys having me around, I make time for them and I genuinely care for others. All things I didn’t bother to work on when I was getting drunk.

I am certainly not perfect nor is my life perfect, but it is so much better than what it used to be.  I try to remain humble and thank God every hour for something that is happening in my life that I wouldn’t have seen before, had I been drunk.  Staying humble, in a constant state of gratitude and close to God keeps me in line.

I am so grateful for another shot at life.  I am grateful that I didn’t die. I am grateful for my family and my friends, and for those that stuck by me.  I am grateful that I get to embrace each day to the fullest. I am grateful I have a program I can go to and sort out my feelings and learn how to live life sober. I am grateful that I am not a statistic.

By the grace of God, the help of dozens of guys (and gals) in my fellowship, a strong 12-step program, and daily miracles (promises) of the program,  I am still sober today and my life is absolutely incredible.

Thank you for letting me share on my sober anniversary.  God bless.

-Chris

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