9 Reasons I’m Grateful to Be Sober Today
Something that I like to share when I speak at meetings is that I truly am grateful for everything, including my addiction. My whole life I experienced that inner void, that feeling of emptiness and unhappiness that pretty much dictated everything in my life: my actions, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, relationships, etc. And, now that I’ve gotten clean and sober and am living a life in long-term recovery, I have so much more than I ever did – and I don’t just mean material things. Here are 9 reasons I’m grateful to be sober today.
#1. No more hangovers
Many of my friends are sober like me but, I’m also friends with ‘normies’ – people who can drink successfully as we in the program say. Most of these friends are from back home and so I keep in touch with them on Facebook mostly. And, let me just say, I relish in the fact that I can get up on a weekend morning (or any morning) without that horrible experience: the hangover. It feels really good to not feel like that and that’s a total understatement. I mention that my friends are on FB because their post-drinking pictures and status posts serve as a reminder of why I never want to drink again.
#2. No more being dope sick
Worse than the dreaded hangover is the dreaded dope sickness. If you were an opiate user like me, then you probably know what hell-on-earth feels like: being dope sick when you run out of your DOC. I experienced it many a time in my active addiction, especially the time I decided to quit the methadone program cold turkey. Let’s just say, I wouldn’t wish that experience on even my worst enemy. And thank God I never have to feel that way again.
#3. No more embarrassing/shameful ER visits
There were many times in my addiction that I ended up at the ER: whether it was to try to get drugs, because of an accidental overdose, or an abscess from shooting up. I’m grateful to be sober today because I don’t have to go to the hospital for any of these reasons anymore.
#4. Inner peace and happiness
Like I said in the intro, I spent most of my life feeling different, broken, and empty. It wasn’t until I got clean and got recovery in my life that I started to get filled up with love and inner joy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but today I understand that I turned to drugs as a way to fill that void.
#5. Being thought of as more than a junkie
One aspect of my ‘bottom’ was that a couple of good, non-junkie friends of mine on different occasions had mentioned to me that they happened to catch a documentary about heroin and it made them think of me. Awe. Wait, no. No ‘awe.’ That’s just sad. I realized that I didn’t want to be thought of – or when I eventually overdosed and died, remembered as – a f*cking junkie. I want to leave a lasting – and inspirational mark on the people who know me. This is yet another reason I’m grateful to be sober today.
#6. Beautiful, restful sleep
yeah, i could probably sleep through this #NOPE
Beautiful, lovely, deep, restful precious, precious sleep. Can you tell that I value my sleep? This is because the years I spent in active addiction were also tormented by the worst case of insomnia you could imagine. I had all three types of insomnia: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and rising early. So, as you can imagine, I didn’t get much sleep in any given night. As a result, I began abusing Ambien – among many other substances. When I got clean, I was given the gift of a good night’s rest and my insomnia is a thing of the past.
#7. Belly laughter
Another beautiful gift of sobriety is the ability to laugh heartily – the kind of laughter you feel deep down in your gut and that causes tears to roll down your cheeks. Belly laughter is one of the best reasons to stay clean and one of the reasons I’m grateful to be sober today.
#8. My cat
not my cat, but cute nonetheless
It’s somewhat painful for me to share this but, before I got clean, I had a cat. A lovely, precious kitty that had been with me through thick and thin. And then I accidentally killed her.
She had fleas and I treated her with the same medicine I had used before but, this time was different. The medicine was too strong and it ended up poisoning her. Now, yes, this is totally tragic. The way I look at it today though, is that I never would have sought help by going to treatment for my addiction if she hadn’t have died; I would never have left her. So, the way I see it, she made the ultimate sacrifice for me so that I could live. And when I got my 18 months of sobriety (literally the night I picked up), I was given a cat by a friend who had recently relapsed and needed to go into treatment.
The Universe is in perfect integrity.
#9. My figure
Alright ladies, by now you’re probably well aware of the weight gain that often accompanies the process of getting clean. And yes, it can be a little shocking, especially the rate at which the weight goes back on – like lightening, in my case. But, I love my curves. In my addiction, I lost all my womanly features, specifically the T&A. Getting clean was like going through puberty again but, a lot quicker and maybe with less emotions. Maybe. But probably not.
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