Clean and Sober

The times in my life that I have been able to say that I am clean and sober have been unrivaled by anything else. The only thing that has been better is when I have felt that I am right with God. Why then do we give up that feeling to go back to the hideousness of active drug and alcohol abuse? I struggle with this constantly.  I think that we need to give the power of addiction more respect. I am in awe of this power and not in a good way. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, great kids, amazing grandsons, a loving extended family, wonderful in-laws, a home, food, warmth, and more springtime’s than I will admit to. I will throw it all away in a heartbeat for one Percocet. In the 56 years I have been on this planet, I have seen and learned about evil in many forms. We have had Hitler, the atom bomb, child abuse, domestic violence, cruelty to animals and  the generalness of man’s inhumanity to man. I can say with absolute certainty that addiction beats all of it.

As an addict, I have had conversations about addiction with many people. We have spoken about how much pain it causes and the physical, emotional and financial cost of addiction. There are no words to describe or explain it adequately. Alcoholics Anonymous maintains that we have to be vigilant in dealing with addiction. We have to be on guard at all times. I don’t think that I have really understood how serious addiction is until recently. For the first time in my life, I feel real fear about my disease of addiction. I welcome this fear. I will be grateful for every sober breath I take.

I implore all of the addicts and alcoholics reading this to be as serious as I intend to be about addiction. I am not implying that you should walk around in constant fear. Please be vigilant. Respect your disease. Do whatever it takes to remain sober. AA’s 12th step is to carry the message of sobriety to other alcoholics. I would never presume to add anything to the powerful legacy that Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob left us. However, for me, I will take being vigilant to the next level.

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