Too many people believe the longer they remain clean and sober from alcohol and drugs, the safer they become from ever going back to them, but in fact it’s just the opposite. The sad reality for a large number of individuals who get some good clean and sober time under their belt is how foggy their addiction-fueled days start to become. Eventually, they tend to forget about it altogether, which then makes the conditions perfect for a relapse. The fact is, whether a person has 1 year, 10 years, or 40 years of continuous sobriety, makes absolutely no difference. Recovery is built upon a single principle, that being “one day a time.”
Since getting sober almost 20 years ago, I’ve watched far too many people lose sight of this principle, me included. How easy it was and still can be at times to fall into that notion I’m ok now from a disease that once held me in its deadly grips. You see the brain is a very wonderful thing indeed. It helps a person totally forget about the pain their addictions once caused. Yet, at the same time it also creates the illusion that it wouldn’t be so bad returning to them again, especially when life brings those tumultuous storms their way.
Hence the reason why at almost two decades free from alcohol and drugs, I’m still attending recovery meetings on just about most days of the week. Hence the reason why I’m sponsoring five individuals through the 12 steps at the present time as well. And hence the reason why I stick around all those who continue to recognize the deadliness of this disease and constantly work at recovering from it, because when I haven’t that’s always been the precise moment in my life when I’ve come closest to relapsing.
So I end today’s entry by dedicating it to all those who keep on accepting, one day at time, just how cunning, baffling, and powerful this disease truly is and always will be. And may all those who might have forgotten just how bad things once were and all those who have even considered returning again to their addiction, remember one thing. You may have another relapse in you, but you may not have another recovery. The souls of three of my former sponsees will always remain the clearest reminder of this to me…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson