Back in the day, you loved to party. Whether you got drunk or high, it was how you had fun. Well, not really. It took you a while to realize it, but substance abuse was an attempt to run away from problems, and it wasn’t very successful. Eventually, you realized you wanted (and needed) to stay sober. After some hard work, you managed it. You began your new life in addiction recovery, and you’re rightfully proud of what you’ve accomplished. But then you hear about the party. It sounds fun and repulsive at the same time. Can you have a social life while in addiction recovery?
As I peer into the warm and vibrantly beautiful month of June… I sense new ideas, new opportunities, and new situations already planted in me coming into a thriving existence. I trust the process as I give life to that which comes to be by means of me… I am grateful to know that as the days grow longer, there is always enough time for everything that seeks expression by means of me… I open my arms wide to welcome the divinely timed arrival of June, which is already filled with love, light, and limitless possibility. I am strong, I am open, and I receive all the gifts life has to offer including health, joy, abundance, and love.
A sober summer can be stress-free and enjoyable… if you manage it right. I got sober in May in the gorgeous beach town of Encinitas, California. It was glorious, summer-like weather year-round and surfers, yoginis and healthy vegans populated the landscape. Enjoying my first sober summer was pretty stress-free—in most regards. Besides the crying, agitation, anxiety, not sleeping or oversleeping, I was able to be sober and hang out with my sober pals, and it sure did make that first sober summer enjoyable.
I was getting a massage at the chiropractor’s office this morning (gratitude) and the masseuse, who just hit 10 years of sobriety (a mutual topic previously discovered) told me that on the way to work this morning she stopped at the store and purchased (not one, but) 10 boxes of Mike and Ike candy. She was going to give it to her roommate to help her manage them as she knew that she could sit and eat 5 of them in one sitting… like the 4 ice creams she ate the other day. A Sister! Out of nowhere this can happen, though it may be months or years in between such sugar loads for either of us.
My son is a recovering heroin addict and his addiction lasted fourteen years. At the end of his using, he was shooting heroin into his neck, having destroyed his veins in his arms, legs and feet. Today, he is ten years sober. That doesn’t mean his addiction is over, but it does mean that Jeff made the decision to change his life.
I hated those cruel commercials early on in my recovery – the ones where stunningly beautiful friends partied merrily, laughed cheerfully, looking chic, holding colorful cocktails or frosted mugs (I would have been holding one of each, by the way.) I wanted that but couldn’t have it. But a wise sponsor told me, “Oh yeah? Well mentally put yourself in that scene. Now fast forward 5 hours of so. See yourself now? Is that you with your mascara smeared under your eyes? What’s that you spilled on your shirt? Is that your voice blabbing too loudly and slurring your words? Keep going… where are you waking up? With who? Eww. There may be puking.
After my first dramatic encounter with God that previously detailed, I stopped drinking, joined a religious order and went through 5 years of seminary. I also obtained a Bachelor’s in Philosophy, a Master’s in Divinity, a Master’s in Moral Theology, was ordained a priest and was assigned to a large parish in Delaware. A lot of stress to be sure, but I went into it free of alcohol.
I want to tell you that my new eBook, Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety Volume II, is now available! Think Right Into Limitless Sobriety Volume II explores the spiritual principles of the next three steps in the 12-step program: Steps Four, Five and Six. And those principles include Courage, Willingness, and Vulnerability. I hope that you’ll give it a look, and I hope that you like it and get something out of it. And as always, please know I look forward to hearing your thoughts, your feedback, your comments on the books and on the blog.