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Mindset changes sobriety.
Overwhelmed. Confused. Cut off. These were the feelings that were swirling around me on a beautiful spring day many years ago. I was approaching my first year remaining abstinent from alcohol.
The first few months I was in an outpatient program and the following six months I was a devout member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I learned what I needed to do according to the program to remain sober. I also assumed the belief that if I stop going to meetings, I will get drunk.
My mindset adopted that there was a monster inside me waiting for me to let down my guard to pounce. If I ever try to tell myself that I don’t need a meeting, it’s just my disease luring me in for life domination.
“What you think, you become” Buddha
I attended a meeting every day, sometimes two. I did service work, opened and led meetings, encouraged to sponsor- but I never felt comfortable with that, worked my steps- sort of, talk to my sponsor daily, heck I even went into business with her just a couple months into program. I lived and breathed the program.
I won’t go into the sorted details of dysfunctional relationships and wildly out of balance expectations. I will only say, I was in, sold! My mind was set on what I needed to do to remain sober and not be hijacked by my disease. And then, the unthinkable happened. I made mistakes. I made bad decisions, and when I tried to correct them for the health of my sobriety, I became the target for gossip and was ostracized from my community. My mindset was fixed, this was my lifeline. My sobriety counted on these people and this program.
I moved about 30 minutes down the highway and attempted to find a meeting where I could feel supported, included, and connected. It just didn’t happen. Something in me could no longer accept that I was powerless, that my core identification was, I’m an alcoholic. I felt like I was being pulled backward. But I knew what program said and what was implied, “It’s the only way.”
Taking you back to that sunny spring day, I was driving down the highway with all these beliefs coming to the forefront of my mind. And with calm in my heart and peace in my spirit, I began to ask myself a lot of questions.
What if I just stopped thinking about alcohol?
What if I just focused on moving forward?
What if I just live life like I want to live it sober?
What if my “alcoholism” is no longer the center of my universe?
What if I didn’t struggle?
What if I just don’t drink?
Since that day I have done a lot of research and personal life work. My mindset has shifted completely. I have tremendous value in the life I have created. I love, honor and respect the woman I am and still becoming. My mindset is flexible to what my Creator, Father God, has in store for me and I know He will equip me with all that I need. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t need them either. I will make mistakes, and I will face them. My motto is, “I’m wrongable.” There is so much freedom in just being.
I believe I would have gotten drunk if I would have persisted in the program. I felt like I was on a small ledge above jagged rocks and barely holding on, one false move and the disease was going to overtake me. I couldn’t live the rest of my life like that.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7
Could I drink and be okay? I don’t know. But when I ask myself that question, I respond to myself the same as I do with my clients, “Why do you want to drink?” The answer is always very telling. I simply have no need for alcohol in my life. It no longer fits.
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