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Challenges in Sobriety

My first try at sobriety was in 1989, and since then I’ve had a few relapses. First at 90 days, 1 year 9months, then last was after 7 ½ years. That brings me to my current sobriety and the challenges I’ve had to face in it.

I was about 3 ½ years sober when I found out I had to have open heart surgery. I was pretty shocked by this. At this time, I was bicycling 5 to 6 days a week and I had just bought a jet ski, so in a sense I was pretty active. Of course I had some fears, but I knew with my higher power and the support of the AA fellowship, I’d get through this. So in October of 2002 I had the surgery and all was good.

Asking for help is really a hard task for most in sobriety. Addicts tend to feel they are not worthy. A little over four weeks after the surgery, I then had a stroke and ended up in a convalescent home at the age of 37, and I just wanted to go home to die. I held tough and knew I would be able to get through it, and I did I went home with the will to live.

I was now in a wheelchair with my left side paralyzed, and I had to learn how to do things using only one hand. I couldn’t go back to work at the time and I had to move from my apartment and into my sister’s house. Through this though, I stayed sober, not taking drink or abusing any drugs. It was by the grace of my higher power. As time moved forward, I found out my heart was failing and I had a genetic heart disease.

As I came to terms and was accepting my life, I knew I wasn’t going to be riding my jet ski or bicycles anymore. I had to let my toys go. Now as the BIG BOOK of AA talks about ‘acceptance is the key to all my problems’ I was having to apply this to my life on a daily basis. Now as I apply this to my life I also found out that I was not eligible to be put on a transplant list for a heart.

So now it could be easy to say why stay sober, why not drink?

As I’m around longer and step away from the pity party in my sobriety it only comes to mind why not stay sober. We learn to do life on life’s term and for me this means to not take a drink no matter what. As all this is happening, I come to do life as life happens. I don’t let things stop me and face all challenges head on.

Sobriety has allowed me this opportunity to face my life challenges. What I get from all this in my life and my motto is YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE A DRINK OR DRUG NO MATTER WHAT.