Jan 23, 2011
So after almost 21 months of sobriety, I'm finally going to take my sponsor's advice and start journaling. I think I avoided it for so long because I used to journal back in the midst of my addiction and because of that, I just naturally associated journaling with depression. Luckily, however, that's not the case for me today.
Over the last 21 months, quite a lot has happened in my life. After getting sober, however, not much changed for the first 6 months. I was clean, but my life was still run by my character defects and it is clear to me what caused that. I was immediately introduced to AA/NA through the treatment facility that I went through in May of 2009 and was told the importance of finding a sponsor and working the steps from day 1. For reasons that I rationalized back then, I didn't start that process till I was around 90 days clean. Even when I did begin working the steps with my sponsor, the changes came slowly; I was still dishonest, unmotivated, and codependent. At about 6 months or so, I began my work on steps 6 and 7 and began to see some serious changes in my life. These steps address our character defects and enable us to be willing and able to give them up to our Higher Power. I told my sponsor at this point that I wanted to spend a very long time on these steps because, even though I had been a drug addict and alcoholic for nearly 10 years, I had been a screw-up all my life, and those steps seemed to be the ones that would make the biggest difference in my life. We spent about 2 months on these steps, picking out 2 character defects per week of which I would consciously work on every day. Through doing this, it began to be easier to do the right thing in my daily life; getting up for work and school was easier, being honest in all my affairs became habitual, almost all of the things that had plagued my character throughout my life began to be removed one by one. In AA, we talk about spiritual experiences that we get through working the steps. Working these steps and seeing the changes it brought in my life was the biggest spiritual experience I experienced throughout the process, with the exception of, later down the road, taking other guys through the steps and seeing the changes in their lives.
Backtracking a bit, I entered into a relationship with another recovering drug addict when I was about 30 days clean, a decision that I was advised against by many. Even though my councilors at the treatment facility advised me against this, I was stricken by this woman who I felt I had so much in common with. It's not surprising to me now, but our relationship was very unhealthy. Neither of us had gotten to a place where we were right with ourselves, making it impossible to be right for each other. We were together for a total of 15 months, in which time she was unfaithful, I was dishonest, and we were both very hurtful and selfish. For the first time in my life, it was my heart that was broken in a relationship, and it was very hard. When I found out she had cheated on me, that was the one and only time in my recovery to this day, where had I not called my sponsor immediately, I believe I would have used. Even though this was very trying, the rest of my life was going very well for me. I was maintaining a 3.8 GPA in my studies at UH, which is very good for me, especially due to the high standards of the program I am studying there. My food sales job was going very well, I had landed a large account with an independent grocer in Houston, prompting my company to give me a significant raise in pay. I went through what I (jokingly) refer to as my quarter-life crisis. I was single, I bought a new car, began renting in an amazing new loft complex; I completely lived an out with the old, in with the new mentality.
This brings us up to about November, 2010. It was around then that I had a sort of spiritual crisis. Things were going so well for me on the outside, that I began to neglect the things I needed to do to maintain my spiritual condition. I stopped praying, went to less meetings every week, quit calling my sponsor every day. I basically neglected all the things I was doing that kept me sober and sane. It didn't take long with me doing this, I began to exhibit a lot of old behavior. I had been working out nearly every day and had began to physically look good and that, coupled with the materialistic things I had began to accumulate, led to an inflation of my ego. I began to behave very selfishly in almost all my affairs; women, work, school, they were all about me. I went about my business like this for at least a month until I became so spiritually bankrupt that I finally broke down and prayed to my Higher Power to give me the willingness and strength to get back on the right track. I started really working my recovery again around the start of December and life has been great. Christmas went off without a hitch, as well as new years.
I'm really going to try and do this daily, but we'll see how it goes.