Most of us are raised to believe that being selfish is wrong. For the most part, it is. However, when you’re in recovery, you MUST be! Your sobriety has got to come first above anything and anyone. That includes (but is not limited to) your family, your job, your interests….everything. If you don’t put your sobriety first and you fall off the proverbial wagon, what good are you going to be to any of them?
Quite often I hear, I can’t do this because I have my kids, I can’t do that because I don’t drive, I can’t seek recovery because my family would be embarrassed etc….. The truth is, if you allow excuses to keep you from your recovery, then you’re not ready for recovery. In order to TRULY get sober, you have to be willing to do whatever you gotta do and put in the work to do it. If you don’t, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.
With it being the holiday season, staying sober get’s a bit harder. You have family functions to go to and feel pressure to attend. If you feel you’re walking into a drunk trap, don’t go…It’s just that simple and is the perfect example of putting your sobriety first. If people don’t understand, that’s not your problem. If you do go and start to feel uncomfortable or tempted, LEAVE. If people don’t understand, that’s NOT your problem. Family is embarrassed, that’s NOT your problem. Your ONLY concern is YOUR recovery. If you let anyone or anything get in the way of that, you will surely fail. We are usless to others and ourselves if we allow anything to get in the way.
We can’t control people, places or situations. The ONLY thing we CAN control are OUR actions and OUR choices. If we put anything or anyone above our own recovery, in the long run, we causing mas destruction to all who love us and we are signing our own death certificates. This is not an easy process, but it IS a very very NECESSARY one. It all boils down to asking yourself if you want to live or die. If you want to live, then you will do WHATEVER is necessary to ensure that you do.
Sure I know I make it sound easy, but that’s only because I’ve been through it. To a newcomer, it’s frustrating & it’s scary. I get it. But it IS possible. The very first step to recovery is to ADMIT that you have a problem, but it does not end there. You have to be willing to put in the work to get and stay sober. You must chase that recovery with just as much dedication, passion, determination and conviction as you chased that bottle or drug.
You can’t keep doing the same things over and over and over again and expect a different outcome.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist.