I could give you several reasons that I justified my drinking. I lost my job of over 20 years and I lost my home. I had lost any meaningful relationship with my family; my wife and I were separated and our son had passed away. As much as I drank to numb everything that had happened, I just kept feeling worse. For me, alcoholism was a progressive disease. I didn’t start drinking on a daily basis until I was in my mid-forties. This progressed to the point that I could not face the day without a drink first thing in the morning. It was an endless cycle with me constantly saying to myself, “I will get sober tomorrow. In the meantime, let me just numb my despair for one last time.” Finally, I had hit my bottom. I decided at that point that I could go on slowly drinking myself to death or I could get sober and honor my son and my family’s name.
One of the principles I learned in my recovery was finding faith in a higher power. I always had a belief in God, but I learned to keep it simple. My prayer in the morning was, “Please help me throughout the day.” At night, I said “thank you.” It was those simple prayers that eventually gave me hope. I no longer woke up in the morning worried about what was going to happen. This new found hope enabled me to take the advice of people that were genuinely trying to help me with my recovery. Also, through hope, I found that for most challenges there is some sort of positive solution. While some of those solutions may take time, a “solution base attitude” gives me even more hope. Now, nearly five years sober, with hope, I have found that life is very much worth living.
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