See, today sobriety is my priority. It has to be. If I drink again I will lose everything, I am sure of that.
When my oldest was born, my ex and I decided that I would stay home with her. When she was three months old, I started drinking again; when she was five months old, I lost custody. In just two months my drinking was completely out of control and I ended up in rehab. And I didn't get sober until she was 5 years old. How crazy is that!? So I am scared.
So I have to keep reminding myself that my sobriety has to come first. I often hear people say that they don't have the time for meetings and "joining" a group, that it takes too much time out of the things that are important in life. But the truth for me is, that the time I put into working on my sobriety benefit everyone. I know that when I go to a meeting, or call my sponsor, or work on steps, I always feeling better, I am more relaxed and able to deal with life with more compassion and patience. And sometimes taking care of me means not putting myself in slippery places, where I might or might not be ok. I don't need to challenge my sobriety anymore. I just need to take care of it.This had to be a lifestyle change for me, I suppose sort of like people who are highly allergic to let’s say peanuts, and have to make sure they do not eat anything that might have had even a trace of nuts. It they don’t take this precaution and change their diet, they might die. The most common barrier to taking care of oneself is the belief that we are selfish if we do. But in fact -if I don't take care of me, then I am useless to everybody else.
The best example of putting yourself first are the pre-flight instructions: when the plane is going down and the masks fall out of the ceiling, passengers are instructed to make sure to put the mask on first, and then help others; you can't help others if you die first.My kids know the days that I go to the meetings, sometimes I have taken my daughter with me if I needed to, (with a portable DVD player and head phones) but I don't miss my meetings. This is my medicine. This the medicine that works for me. And people ask, after five years, you still have to go!? Aren't you cured? Well, YES... Yes, I still
On a side note: I had a tough day at work yesterday, very overwhelmed with a project that we are to release in six weeks and it seems like an impossible task! My coworkers talked about dealing with the stress with bourbon. I got resentful! What about me? What the hell do I have? –I have the gift of sobriety and awesome sponsor who emails me this:
"What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood His plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life. "