Has the thought ever crossed your mind, “Why am I the only one that has to live like this?” Have you set boundaries on yourself based on struggles in your life? Maybe you’ve committed yourself to attending AA, NA, SA or a multitude of other recovery meetings each week. Maybe at this point you’ve set a boundary that requires you to avoid establishments that serve alcohol. Have you ever ended a relationship with someone because when you are around them you get sucked into the destructive behavior that they are involved in? Or maybe it’s just the fact that certain people are negative or critical or always angry and that’s not something that’s safe for you emotionally or mentally.
It’s easy for me to focus on the things I’ve had to give up or restrict because of my addictions and compulsive behavior. Sometimes others will point out the fun I’m missing out on because of self-imposed restrictions. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe it’s because of the length of time I’ve been living a sober life but my view on this struggle has been changing. It’s becoming easier for me to see what I’m gaining and not what I’m giving up.
I’m going to get personal for a minute. My struggle hasn’t been with drugs or alcohol. My struggle has been unhealthy sexual behavior. nI will be attending a meeting for this struggle tonight. Over the years there have been periods when I have attended meetings daily. Currently I attend one or two meetings a week. There was a period when I chose to have internet access only at work. didn’t have it on my phone or at home in any way. There were years when I chose not to go to a public pool or beach and there were other places that I avoided. Not because of the way that people dressed but because I couldn’t be there with out objectifying the people around me. The problem was mine. Not theirs. I could give you a whole list of restrictions I have placed on myself]f over the years, but you get the picture.
Today, a lot of those restrictions are gone. Some are still around but maybe modified. For instance, I have a smart phone and high speed internet at the house. Over the years I’ve learned coping mechanisms and developed tools that have set me free from some of these struggles. If we are walking in recovery then we are growing and learning. Today, living clean and sober is no longer a burden. It’s a lifestyle that has restored relationships with my children and family. It’s a lifestyle that allows me to live with peace and contentment. It’s an act of self-love that has restored my life.
If you’d like to talk about what it means to live a clean and sober life, whatever your struggle is, shoot me a message at email@example.com.