Well it has been four years since I got sober. It has changed my life dramatically. Throughout this continuous time of sobriety I have learned a lot about myself and have gained true happiness with my life. There have been a lot of hard times as well, which were conquered by a strong will and a wonderful support system.
I have found my true love in sobriety. She stands by me through it all. Be it my nit picking comments or my OCD mornings – she puts up with me. She loves me for who I have become, rather than seeing me as the man I was just a few years ago. Cailin has brought purpose to my life. She has given me the understanding that responsibilities are a good thing. They help to bring balance to an otherwise chaotic world. She gives me happiness each day that I am lucky enough to have her in my life. I could go on and on with all the great things Cailin has brought to my life. The number one thing though is sobriety. Without her I would not have been able to come to conclusion that I have a problem with Alcohol. I credit a lot of the great things in my life to Cailin. She has given me the strength and power to make the positive decisions in my life. She has shown me that I have potential and I should lead a life that helps me to live to that potential. I am so happy that this year I will be able to commit my life to Cailin, so that the whole wide universe will know she is the one for me.
Running. Running is something that I have been able to achieve is sobriety. I have been able to run numerous half marathons and a full marathon. I am on a running team and I meet with friends to run every week. Running has given discipline to keep doing what I love and to realize that the world around us is far larger than the mind could ever imagine.
Four years of continuous sobriety is not close to the number of years I was drinking. The countless lives I have hurt or bullied through my belligerence – please know I am sorry. I remember a time when I was coming home from a basketball game, and I disrespected a father in front of his son. I wish I could go back in time and apologize to this man. I want to apologize to this father for the disrespect I showed him in front of his son. These moments make me realize how Alcohol changed me for the worse. Alcohol made me something I know I am not. Alcohol wants me to forget those times and remember only the good. It wants me to remember the times when I was happily gallivanting on a college campus without a care in the world. However, when I realized that Alcohol brought added anxiety, thoughts of depression and general unhappiness I knew it was time to stop.
Alcoholics Anonymous helped me through the beginnings of my sobriety. I credit them with a lot of the good practices that I have learned through sobriety. AA taught me that a support system was needed. It taught me that having a schedule and a concrete plan throughout the day would help me get through. I do not attend AA anymore. I stopped after 11 months of attending meetings. An AA member may now call me a “dry drunk” or say that I am not a true alcoholic, and that is the very reason I left. The dogmatic nature of AA left me with a lot to be desired.
After examining the “Big Book” I had a lot of questions and the explanations from the group were not the same as that of medical research. The fact that the “Big Book” was held in such high regard scared me to question it when I attended meetings. It was if at these meetings the only thing that was considered right was AA and the “Big Book.” That is when I knew it was time for me to break away from the AA group. I knew that with my family and friends as support I would be able to continue making the right and good decisions required of me to live a wonderful life in sobriety.
Now, I want to make it perfectly clear that I do believe Alcoholics Anonymous is a great place for many individuals to continue and start their sobriety. I also know that there are other paths outside of AA that can lead you to a good and righteous life of sobriety. The path we take in life must be our own, and we must question who blazed the trail that we follow.