There was a time when someone who suffered from alcohol addiction was deemed hopeless. Thousands of people stricken with alcoholism were hidden away in mental institutions. Medical professionals were baffled at the inability of these people to get sober, let alone stay that way for any length of time.
If you’ve wrestled with the disease of alcoholism, you’re well aware of how cunning this disease can be. It’s a sickness that tries to convince us mentally we don’t have a problem, or that we don’t need help. Alcoholism is destructive. However, people do recover. Let me tell you about how I recovered from my alcohol addiction.
Most alcoholics are proud people. We think we can and should tackle our problems through our own willpower. The first problem with trying to battle alcoholism with brute willpower is that it ultimately succumbs to the harshest characteristic of the disease.
As an alcoholic, most of the time I didn’t feel I had a problem. The problem was with everyone else. The years went by, and one failed attempt at sobriety after the next began to reveal a different reality.
Alcoholism is a cunning and baffling foe. It never stops, it never relinquishes its hold on our lives, and it’s a progressive disease. As a progressive addiction, my alcoholism not only got worse as I drank, it rapidly returned even stronger after my futile attempts to stay dry.
To begin recovery, I had to admit defeat. In all honesty, the most refreshing feeling of my recovery was the day I admitted to myself I had lost the battle. Going it alone was a losing cause. Through surrender, I found strength. However, recovery was going to take some effort on my part.
I recall someone in a recovery fellowship sharing an analogy he had heard about working for his own recovery. He mentioned that treatment programs and recovery fellowships were like boxes of pasta sitting beside a pan of water on the stove.
All the items were there to make a bowl of pasta. The only thing that was required was the effort to put the pot on the stove and turn on the burner. Like recovery, I needed to use the tools that were so freely given to me.
If I was willing to do whatever it took to get sober, that meant putting forth the effort. If I needed treatment, I needed to make the necessary arrangements to get that treatment. If I wanted to stay sober, I needed to make acquaintances with other like-minded people. The tools of recovery are there for everyone. All I had to do was find the willingness to put forth some effort.
Once I appreciated that fighting against my alcoholism was a losing proposition, I needed to develop enough willingness to do something different, but what? There are various strategies for getting sober and staying that way. I knew I was beaten and was ready to put forth some effort.
But, I had to be willing to change and accept suggestions. One of the first suggestions that worked for me was to carve my life and my alcoholism up into single-day segments. If I would have asked to fathom the idea of staying sober forever, the thought of failing would have been overwhelming.
However, if all I had to do was avoid taking a drink for 24-hours that I felt like I could do. As simplistic as that might seem, it worked. Each 24-hour block of time turned into a couple of days. A couple of days soon turned into a week. After about 30, 24-hour chunks of sobriety, my confidence in living sober improved.
I admitted to not being able to overcome my alcoholism alone and found enough motivation to put some effort into my recovery. Then, I developed the willingness to pursue whatever steps were necessary for meaningful change in my life. It worked.
As time passed, I was able to “sew” one day on top of another living clean and sober. Has it always been easy? Of course it hasn’t. However, my worst day sober has the potential to beat my best day embroiled in my alcoholic addiction.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, or any addiction for that matter, there is a solution. The first step towards rebuilding a new and happy life clean and sober begins with surrender. You can take that vital first step by picking up the phone.
No one has to try to defeat an addiction by themselves. There is help. That help is a phone call away. Pick up the phone and ask for help today, because tomorrow may be too late. A road of recovery is waiting for you. All you have to do is surrender, put in a little effort, and have the willingness to change. Call us at 833-497-3808.