This is a terrible time to try to stay sober. Or, is it the best possible time to be sober?
I know it sounds crazy, but bear with me here. As a certified Recovery Coach with 10 years of sobriety, I feel that I can offer some guidance to help those of you who might be struggling right now.
Many of you in early sobriety are saying to yourselves, “Why not drink? It’s a Pandemic, I have to stay inside anyway.”
Now think of the flip side, I think we can agree that one of the hardest things about staying sober is being with friends at a restaurant while they happily order their cocktails and then they ask, “do you mind?”
“Yes,” you think, “I do mind, I mind a lot, I want that drink in front of me.”
But we act like we don’t and we white knuckle it through the dinner while people say things like, “I really admire what you’re doing, it must be hard.”
And the truth is it’s really really, hard, it’s like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro every single day, sometimes every single minute. Every time you go out, every time you go to the grocery store, every time you see a billboard with happy people raising a glass. We are constantly bombarded with drinking and how normal it is. It’s everywhere and this is life.
So look at it this way, what if being isolated from the drinking world is the perfect way to stay sober right now?
What if you embrace this time when people are not sitting next to you in a restaurant drinking, when bars are closed and liquor stores are closed, and you don’t have to face all those triggers?
What if the world is giving you a chance to be sober without all the reminders?
What if this time is a gift, just for you?
Perhaps take this quiet time to work the steps, read the Big Book(I suggest the first 164 pages, yes again), try meditation, pray, make gratitude lists, get to know yourself better. You may discover you’re not the person you painted yourself to be.
Take this time to be present. Living in the past brings anger and resentment. Living in the future brings anxiety.
Living right now, knowing this is all we have and the only thing we can control, brings us peace.
I challenge you to celebrate this isolation from temptation. The rest of the world has disappeared and it took all the triggers with it.
What a great time to be sober. Embrace it. Perhaps your higher power is sending you a message, a very powerful, world-shattering message.