He is a friend of mine from the groups I go to. He is awesome and such a good person and friend. He was so kind to write something for my blog and I appreciate it so much.
He is writing about changes and staying sober, which is something that I think is important for anyone going though recovery to understand.
So without much further ado;
Changes and the unexpected
At some point in most addicts recovery, an unexpected event occurs, that throws your routine off. It may be just for one day, or it could be a few months. We always have to be aware of how these events make us feel, and how we react to said events.
If you get sick, you may stay at home from work. You might skip going to a meeting, or not call your sponsor that day. You just may decide to stay in bed all day because you need lots of rest to get better. Or if you're active addiction was anything like mine, you would use to "feel better". So it's important to at least keep that contact with someone in recovery and let others know you're not feeling well. This helps you stay accountable for yourself and allows you to share your feelings with another person.
What if you have a surgery or accident that keeps you "out of commission" for a significant period of time? Maybe physically you are unable to get to meetings. You're entire schedule and routines are thrown out of whack. You may stay in contact by phone or emails with others in recovery, but you can't get to meetings and socialize with others in recovery. Maybe a month or two go by and you've stayed clean through these changes. When you are up and moving again, you start to make excuses for not getting to meetings. Maybe in your mind, you tell yourself, "Well I stayed clean for that long without going to a meeting, maybe I don't need them anymore."
Our disease loves to put these thoughts into our heads. Addiction wants you to "test" yourself in your recovery, because it knows eventually it will win every time. We've all heard the saying, "if you keep playing with fire, eventually you'll get burned." I've accepted that I'm powerless over my addiction. I need a power greater than myself to guide me and give me strength and support every single day. The day I think I've got my addiction beat, will sooner or later be followed by my using again. Every individual has different means of support and routines they establish in recovery. Whatever works to help you stay clean and live a fuller life.
Just remember what has worked to get you clean, and keep you clean; for however long that may be. If something is working, you keep doing it. "A man was having a string of horrible days back to back. He went to his sponsor and asked what he should try. His sponsor asked if he had been saying the Serenity Prayer. The man said no. Sponsor told the man to say the Serenity Prayer at least 50 times a day for the next week. After a few days the sponsor called the man and asked how things were going. The man replied, "I took your suggest and it worked so well for the first two days that I stopped doing it"
Thank you Josh, you did a great job!
I hope that this post helps someone out there as much as Josh has helped me in my recovery!