Tomorrow, I will have 8 years of sobriety. I am 31 years old and I have been sober for 8 years.
At this point, I have probably been sober for more years than I used. But I still feel afraid of going back. I don’t feel any safer than I did the day I got sober, I just feel like I have more tools to combat the voices that tell me that I’m not good enough or that it will be different this time.
I have come so far.
My sponsor tells me that I am too hard on myself. He is probably right. It is easy for me to look at myself and see the things I wish I was, but I am getting better at looking at the things I have done right.
Since I have gotten sober, I have built my own successful business. I started an SEO agency and I have 12 employees who have health insurance and who don’t have to worry about whether or not we will make payroll.
I bought my dream car and I paid it off in full.
I have made a small group of very close friends. These friends and I have been with each other since the beginning of our recovery journeys. I have been able to be there for them through love and loss and life and death. Together, we have built things that wouldn’t have been possible if we were still living in addiction.
Most of all, I got engaged.
When I was younger, I always assumed I was going to die at a young age. I didn’t think I deserved to find someone to marry or to find someone who truly cared about me. Getting engaged has been one of the most exciting experiences of my life and I can’t wait to spend my days getting into trouble with my fiancé.
I have been a good brother. I have been a good son. I have been to weddings and funerals and traveled around the world. I did all of it without drinking or without getting high.
I used to talk about doing the things that I do now. I used to get high and look out the window and imagine what life would be like if I weren’t handcuffed by this monster inside of me. I can’t imagine living that life anymore. I don’t know how I did it for as long as I did. I can’t believe I didn’t die.
I look around and I see so many people in the world who are still struggling. It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is struggling with an addiction or with an eating disorder or with depression or suicidal thoughts. I’m not sure why it is happening so often, but I know that there is a way out. There is an answer for everyone.
No matter what your beliefs, no matter what your struggles, you can find a way out of the dark. You can move into the light. You can surround yourself with people who want to help you and who you can help in return.
If you’re struggling, don’t ever give up. I have seen miracles happen all around me. There is always hope for you.