First Step in Recovery: Sobriety

Written 3/13/17

Lila, Ly and I had an amazing weekend.   We spent a lot of time outdoors–the weather in San Jose has transitioned from rainy to sunny and warm.

We went to see Cirque Du Soleil, and it was an outstanding performance.  We sat in awe as the performers displayed a series of unbelievable acrobatic feats, accompanied by a humorous and fun storyline.  Ly bought the tickets, and I am very grateful that all of us were able to enjoy the show together.

Lately, life has been….interesting.  I am trying to keep a positive outlook on things, but I’m struggling at work—as it has become clear that the leadership team at my agency isn’t motivated to make employee wellness and morale a priority.  My boss and I have had a few less than positive interactions—and i’m just tired of the sometimes counter-productive nature of government work.  On top of that, President Trump is cutting a projected $6 billion from the HUD budget, which will inevitably impact Public Housing Agencies (PHA) across the country (I am an Analyst at a PHA).

My objective is to look for new employment opportunities, and do my best to keep a positive attitude at my current job.  There is no use in complaining—I just have to focus on the positive and continue working hard to create new opportunities.  I am blessed with a beautiful family—and though my 9-5 isn’t ideal right now, we have everything we need in life.

Next month, I will be three years sober.  I find that it is difficult to write about drinking, as I believe my mind and body are free from the grasps of alcohol, completely.  What remains now is life, in all of its glory. In alcohol, I used to drown the components of life that I didn’t want to confront, and those components never went away, they just crept into a dark hole momentarily until the alcohol ran its course.  Eventually, I needed more booze to make the pain go away—but alcoholism never actually makes the negative things go away—as they are always resuscitated and come back 10 times stronger during spurts of clarity and cleanliness (a body/mind free of alcohol).

So what does make the undesirable aspects of life disappear?

Nothing.

It’s not about making the bad go away, and paving some sort path to absolute happiness.  No, that is impossible.  It’s about recognizing that sadness/negativity exists, and understanding that though life can be challenging, the challenges are what makes the beauty in life shine bright.

Those who never experience true adversity, will also never experience true happiness.

Am I sober?  Yes—and that was the natural first step in turning my life around.  However, I was naïve to think, three years ago, that recovery simply means I give up alcohol.  In fact, putting down the bottle is the first step in recovery, and sets the psychological foundation to take on what comes next…which is: “progress through evaluating life, pin-pointing areas of improvement, working hard and holding yourself accountable.”

Have a blessed day.

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