Today I can say I’m grateful!
I’m grateful I didn’t wake up yesterday hung over from having been drinking on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved to have a few beers, or ten. Or, until I would cause more unsolicited pain in my life by drinking to excess. Does this sound familiar?
It’s a heck of a day for many people to look forward to and celebrate. It might be the one day out of the year they get completely smashed. Most people have to actually “plan” this day to drink excessively. The difference from an alcoholic is that they have already scheduled PTO (Personal Time Off) for the next day of work due to the anticipated hangover. They know they will be a little groggy the next day and can bounce back to life as they know it. These type of people don’t have to worry about when or where their next drink will be.
This usually isn’t the case for many alcoholics. It was just another justified event for me to get completely drunk. I was thinking yesterday morning that I didn’t have to struggle to get out of bed and go to work. I was able to face life again completely sober. It’s a beautiful feeling to wake up and realize the miracle of sobriety when I take a shower. I’m not an early riser by any means. It takes me a little while to get my blood moving. I suppose I’m no different than the average person. I love the warmth of my bed covers, the soft feeling of the bed, and the peaceful silence when I wake up. I’ll be honest, I would love to sleep in everyday if I could. Not necessarily to 11am or noon. But 9am sure would be nice!
The difference now is that I have responsibilities. I have a good job that pays my bills and I definitely don’t want to screw it up. I have a wife, a daughter, and my dogs. I have a house now versus being homeless almost 7 years ago. I’m grateful I have these things in my life. But it does take an effort to get out of bed, get to work on time, and make a living. It’s no different than the effort it takes to work my program and live sober a day at a time.
But let us put all those things aside for a minute. I want to get back to what I said about my realization of the miracle of being sober. I’m so grateful each morning once the water of the shower hits my face. I used to fear getting in the shower as I would be hung over and sick from drinking the night before. I feared everything about life during the last 3-4 years of my drinking. Life was slipping away for me and I couldn’t figure out why. I would be consumed with the self pity game and blamed God for all things he was taking away from me. I truly felt like life had my number and that it was over! But it wasn’t. God had another plan for me. This blog is proof of that plan.
I was quitely praying and crying inside during the final years of my drinking for the pain to end. I just didn’t know when it would ever happen. Thankfully it did in 2009. I still have some fears in life, but not as an everyday occurrence like before. Usually, those fears wash away from the warmth of the water when I take a shower. I can’t start a day without one. It helps me wake up. It’s the catalyst that tells me I have been awakened to a new lease on life. A life of sobriety, peace, and happiness. It’s this moment, “I’m grateful that I’m sober and realize this is how I want to feel!”
So I want you to think about something the next morning you take a shower. – “How do you feel when you take a shower being sober in the morning?”
Do you even recognize the miracle that has taken place from the moment you’ve woken up from your slumber? You obviously had 24 hours of sobriety the day before you woke up, right? Give yourself positive reinforcement and register how you feel when you take a shower. Tell yourself – your conscious self, “This is how I want to feel each and everyday!”
This is what “I wanted” when I got sober. I wanted to escape the pain and fear I had. – Do you?
How can you start a day off bad if you’re able to register (know and feel) the simple miracle of waking up sober? And be able to recognize that you’re not hungover or sick again, and again, and again! It’s a beautiful thing from my perspective. I want that feeling everyday and I hope you do too! This is only one of many positive cognitive behavior changes that has taken place with me in my life of recovery. I worked hard at it in the early years of my recovery. It has become second nature now in my life. And, I’ve never taken any morning for granted. The process of taking a shower (sober) reminds of this. I attribute this to being a major stepping stone to my 6 1/2 years of sobriety.
I’ve done it a day at a time – one shower at a time.
May the warm waters of your life help you relax, breathe, and find the meaning of what it is like to truly be grateful for another day of sobriety.