[Sober Living] Third Sobriety Counter

Five years in March since I last drank any alcohol, five years in March since I last consumed any cannabis, and I just passed two years without taking anything that could affect my mind or body, other than caffeine or naproxen. This’s the one I’ve had the most trouble talking about because… how can I put it… …this is the counter that says I need to close any cheating loopholes. I am addicted to weakness.

Let’s start with the panic attack.

After that happened, I received ativan and zoloft. Zoloft turned me into a zombie. Ativan made me feel too amazing. No more fear?! So, of course, as one does, it quickly spiralled out of control. Took some after someone yelled at me. Took some before social situations. Took some just because. It was a problem outside my normal framework.

January 2nd 2015: “I have a problem.”

Now I say no anytime anything could artificially sedate, elevate, or elate me more than what is required for direct medical advise or pre-approved by my most sober and sane self.

Everything else has one counter.

No more beer-battered onion rings. No checking beer cans or liquor bottles for any leftovers. No more deep breaths of weed smoke. No second bite of any special brownies because “I’m already in it.” No stealing meds. No random meds found on the ground. No more overdoing it. No more masking temporary pains.

No more victim mentality.

What I was really addicted to was the sensation that life happened to me, therefore, I should receive sympathy. That’s weak thinking. You’re in control of many more elements in your life than you might think. Don’t like something? Change it. Hate something? Change it. Why accept being thrown around life?

Maybe that’s why we do what we do?

Life’s hard. If we can blame something for it or have an easy escape from it, why not? “Path of least resistance,” right? If you’re the victim, then you can feel like something is owed to you, be it time, money, or relaxation. If you pull yourself up and say that you had things inflicted upon you and that won’t define you, you win.

You win an unwavering self-confidence.

The self-esteem and understanding that when you go into any situation, yes, you will make mistakes, yes, you will disappoint, however, that won’t be because of factors inside your control. Choosing not to wallow in the comfort of being a victim can give you the strength to be a better you, given enough time and resilience.

[Editorial Note: Between writing this and editing this for publication, I thought maybe this last paragraph was too pointed at victimhood. Don’t stay here in misery. It sucks.]

Two years ago, I took ownership.

Even if it doesn’t fall under the purview of your standard behaviors, does it inebriate you in any way? If so, stop, and hold strong, regardless of the name that’s applied to the alteration.

Now, I own interactions that otherwise would own me.

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)