Tag Archives: Sober

Something Greater than Yourself Does Exist

We are human. We want to believe that we are the center of the universe. We expect people to serve us left, right, up, down and sideways. We expect to get what we want, when we want, how we want it.

THAT IS NOT HOW LIFE WORKS.

If you want to recover from your alcoholism/addiction, the pride and the selfishness has to go. It’s a lot easier said than done, trust me, I’ve been there. However, if I can do it, then you can do it. You just have to want it.

We have to admit defeat. As someone once told me at a table, self will doesn’t cure self will. But God’s will? His will, and only His will can cure self will.

Honestly, it’s because of God and his grace that I’ve stayed relatively sane these last couple of months. It’s been one thing after another, yet I’m still sober, and I’m still ok.

If I wasn’t sober, well then I can say without a doubt that the outcome of things would have been a lot worse.

I’m not worried about things. I’m not worried about life. I’m calm. If you truly want to be sober, I pray that you come to believe in a power greater than yourself. Once you do that, you’ll find that life as so much more to offer. That you’ve been blessed and didn’t even realize it. You’ll realize what the real solution to your problems are.

To give you an example: If you’ve read my other blog posts, you’d know that a few weeks ago I got into an accident and totaled my car. This was a trigger for me. I wanted a drink so badly. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. Instead of going to the bar, violating probation and drinking my income away, I talked to people.

The next day, I called my bank. Because of the credit I’ve been building, I was approved for a loan to get a new vehicle and by the end of that day, I was driving home with a new car. Well, not brand new, but new to me.

I could have drank. If I did, then I probably to this day would still be without a car. God had everything planned for me from the start. It was a test. A test that I believe I passed.

It all worked out. It always will if you come to believe in a power greater than yourself.

I grew up Catholic and left the church for a really long time. I believed that there was something out there, but didn’t acknowledge that presence. I’m acknowledging it here and now.

My higher power is God. Your higher power doesn’t have to be. I am a Christian, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Open mindedness and willingness are key. I respect other beliefs. Because the world doesn’t revolve around me.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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How Paul Listened and Trusted God

So, we left off when Paul stood in front of King Agrippa and shared his story. Now, Paul is setting sail for Rome to go in front of Nero. Since that is what he appealed for.

On his journey to Rome, they had come across a storm. Paul even predicted the storm in Acts 27:10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” However, nobody wanted to listen to Paul and they set sail directly into the storm.

However, what happens next is pretty awesome.

Paul tells them that they should have listened to him, but lives would be spared. “But now I urge you to keep your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God to whom I serve stood beside me and said Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you. So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” (Acts 27:22-25).

The ship does wreck, but everyone does reach land safely. Only because Paul trusted the Lord, and he listened.

He trusted. 

I want to take a moment to acknowledge that trusting in God is a lot easier said than done. As humans, we want proof that something exists. We want immediate answers, and some of us (myself included) wants direct communication with God like the angel coming to Paul.

Prayer is communication, but we don’t always get an immediate response. It’s like playing phone tag with someone for about a week before you actually get a hold of that person.

However, prayer is essential. Trusting in God is essential. Without faith, we are nothing. Trusting in the unseen is basically what defines faith. I’ve made this argument before, and I’ll make it again.

We can’t see the wind, but we can feel it. We can see the effects wind has on the trees, us, the leaves.

We can’t see our internal organs, but we know they’re there. We know that they are functioning to keep us alive and breathing.

Just because we can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there and that we shouldn’t trust in it.

Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

 

Paul and his crew were in a crisis. But Paul knew what to do like it was second nature, because he trusted in God. Paul was walking by faith. I can honestly say that with prayer, and reading the word, knowing what to do when life gets you down will become second nature.

God doesn’t create our downfalls, he uses them for the better. He uses them so that we can know Him and trust Him. In the midst of tragedy, there is always something beautiful that can be taken from it. However, our eyes have to be open and we have to be awake if we want to take that beauty from the tragedy.

Are your eyes open? Do you trust in Him?

Photo by Nathan Pirkle on Unsplash

 

Giving My Testimony

Just an update, I added a new page to my blog.

It’s called “My Testimony.”

I wanted to make a video because I feel like it becomes more personal if you can see the person sharing. I was going to record it while I was sharing it at my church, but completely forgot.

I thank God that I have reached a point where I can feel like I can share my story. I pray that someone becomes impacted.

I wasn’t able to post the video directly, so I had to post it onto youtube. Feel free to check it out here

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Let’s Talk Emotions

I’m a little over a month in my journey with sobriety. And I can honestly say that this has been the most emotional month I’ve had in a while..probably because I’m sober. I feel things, I feel things on a deep level. That’s one of the many reasons why I drank.

I’m going to be honest, it sucks. It sucks so hard. One minute I’m crying at a table and an hour later I’m smiling, laughing, and nobody would have guessed I had a mental breakdown that hour beforehand.

However, the more people I talk to in recovery, the more I realize this is normal. Our emotions are going to be over the place. We’re going to be sensitive at first, we’re going to get irritated more easily than others because we aren’t drinking our feelings away.

All I can say is don’t give up.

I feel like I’m walking on an earthquake about to slip through the cracks. I’m hanging on to one tiny piece of rope. That rope is everything I want to be. Everything I’m striving to be. That rope is what is saving my life right now and I can’t let go of it, not yet. If I let go, then I fall to my death. That’s not what I want.

Sobriety isn’t easy. Giving in to a power greater than yourself isn’t easy. But things that we’re destined for aren’t meant to be easy. People can’t progress if they don’t want to put in the work.

My parents worry about me-alot. It irritates me because I am an adult. I have freedoms I didn’t have when I was 16. Them worrying is annoying. But it’s their job as a parent. One parent is 300 miles away and worries. It’s frustrating, I don’t like it. I work afternoons. So I’m most active at night and in the late afternoon. I have to be careful to not wake my Dad up when I’m coming home at 2-3 in the morning.

He gets irritated because I’m coming home so late. He works a 9 to 5 monday-friday type job, gets up earlier, and goes to bed earlier. I don’t have that right now so my schedule is backwards.

Little things like that make me so mad. But someone said to me “How would you feel if you guys didn’t fight over what time you were coming home? How would you feel if they couldn’t worry anymore?” and honestly, that changed my perspective and I became less irritated.

In our journey in sobriety advances, our emotions are going to be scattered and we’re not going to know how to deal. The beautiful thing is we don’t have to deal with it all at once. The key to it though is perspective. There are so many different outlooks on life, and it’s our choice to choose which outlook we want. We can choose to live positively, or we can choose to live negatively. It’s up to us.

If you feel like me, you aren’t alone. It’s normal, but don’t ever give up. Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens.

Photo by Alex Wigan on Unsplash

Burning Out

I feel like I keep coming up with excuses on my blog as to why I’m not blogging.

Truth is, I’m burning out. Between meetings, trying to maintain my social life, and work, my days are becoming harder and harder to manage.

Some days I don’t even wanna get out of bed. Some days, finding the strength to get out of bed is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.

I pray every night, but I’m not reading my books as often as I should. I feel like I’m a terrible blogger.

I’ve been running on about 5 hours of sleep today. I requested the wrong day off of work (which was nice surprisingly because I had a Saturday off) but I had to be in Detroit by 8 AM this morning to take an exam for a job that I’m going to school for (and I think I did ok). However, I didn’t get home from work until about 11:30 PM on Sunday night.

Gave myself an hour, and was up by 5:45. Running non stop. Car had to go into the shop, went to a meeting, pick up said car and go to work.

Truth is, I’m depressed. I’m worried. I’m scared. Trying not to overwhelm myself (I have no reason to be afraid because God IS on my side whether it feels like it or not).

Ever since I got sober, all of these feelings of regret, resentment, sadness, and anger have been bubbling to the surface. I’m not sure how to deal with them. If I’m being honest, I thought about checking myself into a mental hospital to get help. But I have bills to pay.

I see my therapist Wednesday, but I’m thinking about switching therapists because I feel like nothing is getting resolved at this point. I’ve had the same woman ever since my parents got divorced, which was roughly 8 years ago.

Ever since I got sober, I realized I had no idea who I am. I drank those years away. All because I wanted to feel numb, but here I am again. I’m 21 years old, but mentally, I feel like I’m that same scared 16 year old girl.

Thinking about going on antidepressant/anxiety medication again, because I don’t know what else to do. I need to be productive, I need to help around the house, and I need to stay motivated. How do I do that?

P.S. Time management is clearly not my expertise. So if any of you beautiful readers has any suggestions, please throw them my way. I have 3 sections to maintain, and I want this blog to flourish.

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

The Motivation (Or Lack Thereof)

I’ve been blogging less and less. I’ve written for the Odyssey online, I have written for puckermob, and I started this. Odyssey and Puckermob just fell apart. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let this blog become one of those things that I’d start and forget about a month later.

I’ve been enjoying writing these blogs. It gives people inspiration and hope. My words have the ability to impact people in ways that I would have never imagined.

I’ve been thinking about putting myself on a schedule throughout the week. Getting a planner and writing out everything I have to do for the day. Word for word. Bills I have to pay, meetings I should attend to, days I have to work, days I have classes, what time I should be up by, etc etc.

I don’t have a planner yet. So everything I’ve been doing is from mental memory. Yesterday I got up at 8 A.M. I felt really accomplished (anyone who knows me knows that I am typically NOT a morning person). I got my car cleaned out and my room cleaned. Went to two AA meetings back to back and went to school to take my exam. I felt really productive and proud.

Today I woke up at around noon and barely got anything done. I got my budget worked out (bye bye internet streaming services *cough cough Netflix cough cough*) and my student loan paperwork completed, however I wasn’t able to turn in it to my schools financial aid office.

But today, I found out I am closer to getting my degree than I thought I was. I have about a year and a half left. That’s because I kept pushing, I kept striving, and I didn’t let the fear of student loans get to me. Even though I have changed my major roughly three times (which isn’t uncommon; if you are in the same boat, DO NOT feel guilty). I am so close to being done.

None of this would have happened if I didn’t sober up. If I was still out drinking, I wouldn’t have come to know God. I wouldn’t have been able to continuously share my story with people. I wouldn’t have been able to come as far as I have and that’s really important.

I’ve been watching a movie called 5 to 7 a lot lately, and one of my favorite quotes from that movie is “Progress is not linear.”

It’s not. Life is just a giant course of trial and error. If something doesn’t work, we try it again in a different way and make the same errors.

I feel like we have to hit a certain bottom before we rise to the surface. My charge was my bottom. This is why Paul is one of my favorite characters in the bible because Paul PERSECUTED Christians in his time. He had a specific encounter with God. In Acts 9:4, the Lord asks “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

That conversation that Paul had with the Lord changed his life. It changed his life so much that even his name was changed. To learn more of the story please read my blog post From Saul to Paul: The Beginning.

Do I want to do things other than sit for an hour and read the Word? Absolutely. I’m sure every Christian feels that way at some point. However, it’s a really bad habit to get into because when we should be studying the Word is when we aren’t feeling motivated.

 

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The Doubts Are Still There…

As I’m working through Step One, I realized that I had already admitted that I had a problem.

But I question myself. Every single day. Will I ever really truly know if I’m an alcoholic? Probably not.

Though given the fact that I’ve tried to do some things like control my drinking, I failed.

I did some step work today. Given what I wrote for my first step work, given the fact that alcoholism runs on both sides of my family, and given the fact that I was so excited to turn 21 just so I could drink, I’m pre-determined. All signs point to the disease.

The doubts are still there, the curiosity of wondering if I really can limit myself are still there, but I have to remind myself that it’s all an illusion.

I never wanted my genes to pre-determine who I was going to be, which is rather silly if you think about it. Our genes come from our parents. Our personality, how we look, our tastes in food, music, extra curricular activities, etc are all determined by genes.

We are our parents, and our grand parents, and our great grandparents, and family members that go back hundreds of years.

Our genes essentially do determine who we are-to an extent. Genes are found in chromosomes, chromosomes are in our DNA and our DNA comes from our parents.

There is no quick fix. There is no cure. But there is a choice and that choice is to make a conscious and spiritual effort to stay sober.

 

Photo by Carolina Heza on Unsplash