Guest Blog Post: The Path to Recovery - A Personal Journey
By Thanks for Letting Me Share
Hi, I'm glad you stopped by. I'm an alcoholic and I write about addiction and recovery. I spent many years trying to stop drinking, but nothing ever seemed to work. I attended AA meetings, went to rehab, tried different kinds of therapy, but nothing ever seemed to produce more than a few months of sobriety. I just couldn't stop drinking.
The people in my life couldn't believe I kept choosing drinking over them. That I loved alcohol more than I loved them. Of course, it was never about that. I had simply constructed a life that didn't just include drinking, it required drinking. The thing that finally got me sober, the thing that finally saved my life, after more than ten years of trying and relapsing, was studying the Big Book and working the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
What I finally grasped was that AA and the 12-Steps weren't about adopting any particular religion or set of beliefs, they were simply a series of prompts and exercises that allowed me to question some of my core beliefs and helped me come to a much better understanding of myself and the forces alcohol unleashed inside of me.
I came to see that the 12-Steps weren't a punishment and that sobriety wasn't a consequence. Rather, it was an opportunity to change the way I looked at the world and the way I looked at myself. The Steps provided a framework that allowed me to not just stop drinking, but to design a life full of meaning and purpose and happiness; a life that no longer required alcohol.
I began sharing Daily Gratitude Lists on Twitter (@ThanksFLMS) and writing Thanks For Letting Me Share on Substack (thanksforlettingmeshare.substack.com) as a way of expressing gratitude, sharing my story, helping others share theirs and providing practical, hard earned advice about getting sober and staying sober. We also host a podcast called "Breakfast with an Alcoholic."
Alcoholism and Addiction are terrible diseases that destroy millions of lives and ravage far too many families. I've learned that recovery is more than overcoming those diseases, it's about recovering the person you lost a while ago, the person you were meant to be, the life you were meant to lead. At TFLMS, we think recovery is about finding the path back to yourself.
The TFLMS Field Sobriety Guides will help you (or someone you love) get started back. There are tips about how to find the trailhead, how it's marked, and things you might encounter along the way. Field Sobriety Guide No. 01: "Am I Lost?" provides helpful background on addiction, recovery, AA, the Big Book and the 12-Steps along with self-assessment exercises, gratitude lists, places to keep track of meetings and jot down some notes about the life you're building.
Maybe AA is not for everyone, the most important thing is that people find what works for them. In the end, it doesn't matter how people recover, what matters is building a sustainable, happy, meaningful life. That's what AA and the Big Book did for me and maybe it could help you, too (or someone you know).
Getting sober has produced the most exciting, enriching, creative, absolutely terrifying, and meaningful time of my life. The path back has had lots of twists and unexpected turns. It can be a bit of a lonely journey sometimes, if you'd like some company along the way.....
Thanks for Letting Me Share
You can join my Recoverltion Group here