Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, where gratitude is always the sole subject of my writing, which for today is for remaining clean and sober from all my former addictions through this pandemic thus far and through even contracting a pretty serious case of COVID myself.
Sadly, there have been many who can’t say the same. Countless have relapsed into former addictions throughout this pandemic, including many who had worked so very hard for both their short-term and long-term sobriety. Much of that is due to all the quarantining and staying away from others for almost a year now. Sitting with oneself and remaining idle is difficult for plenty of people in this world, but almost downright impossible for many with an addict brain. It’s why recovering addicts of any kind will congregate on a weekly basis at those 12 Step meetings, even many years down the road in their sobriety, because it absolutely helps with all that “squirrelly-ness” an addict brains often goes through on a constant basis. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many 12 Step meetings going on in person presently due to the pandemic. But thankfully, I have experience calming the “squirrelly-ness” down right here at my home, as I learned how to sit with myself for long periods of time at a 10-day silent retreat long ago, where I sat in silence for hours on end every day. But even with my meditative experience, it’s still been challenging for me to deal with as much isolation as I’ve had, yet I can absolutely say I’ve remained clean and sober through it all because I’ve worked hard to keep doing my daily spiritual routine every, single, day.
Daily praying and meditating, saying affirmations, writing gratitude, maintaining this blog, connecting with other sober individuals over the phone, and occasionally jumping at any chance I’ve gotten to go help another addict of any type, has helped me remain clean and sober, through even the darkest of times, the darkest of which came just recently, when I was struck with COVID myself and had a case of it where I’d put how bad it was at about a 7 out of 10.
During the first two weeks of January, when COVID hit me the worst, when I could barely get out of bed, I really questioned God, my faith, and my entire existence. Having gone through so much pain and suffering already in recent years, it put me over the edge to where I began asking myself why I was even remaining clean and sober anymore. I’m quite sure that’s exactly how others have fallen into relapses during this pandemic. That’s why I’m so grateful that I’ve never broke my habit of praying every morning on my knees because it was during each of those moments where I have shed many tears and shouted in frustration at God, but also asked for the strength to not give up and to continue remaining clean and sober. And so far, I have. Thank God!
I don’t think sobriety is something to ever be taken lightly on any level. It’s not something one should ever say to themselves, “I’ve Got This!” And it most definitely is not something one should ever try to battle alone, which is why going through this pandemic has been so challenging for many of us in recovery from a former addiction, given the longevity thus far of our limited in-person interactions.
So yes, I’m extremely grateful to have remained clean and sober from all my former addictions these past 10 months. I haven’t picked up alcohol, or drugs, or cigarettes, or engaged in any toxic sex and love-based behaviors, or put myself into any type of financial debt, or done anything that put me into a complete downward spiral that all my old addictions once did to me. I’m so thankful to still be sober in this pandemic world we continue to live in, as my sobriety is most definitely something I don’t take for granted and never will.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson