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a decade of sobriety

There is a sentiment in recovery circles that goes something like this … if you picture yourself x number of years down the road, and think of what you want for yourself, think of what you want your life to look like, to feel like, inevitably, you will have sold yourself short. Because when you get there, it’s even bigger and fuller and more beautiful than you could have imagined.

And when you’re in early sobriety, this feels like utter bullshit. It feels like that same rote nonsense oldtimers trot out without even thinking about what they’re saying. Something that sounds good in meetings, but can’t withstand the scrutiny of close examination.

As it turns out, this is no rote nonsense. It is absolutely true. At least it has been for me. I am living a life today that is beyond beyond beyond anything I could have envisioned for myself back in those early days.

Back then, I did not know life could be this good. This satisfying, rewarding, fulfilling, this brutally beautiful.

Back then, I thought sobriety meant settling.
I was wrong.
It means soaring.

Here is the place where I’m meant to caveat my joy with the acknowledgement that life can still be hard. Ups and downs. Et cetera. Et cetera. Ok, sure, true. But we all know that, right?

And to tell the truth, my truth, once I got past that hump of early sobriety, it hasn’t been that hard. Life has thrown what life will throw in terms of grief and death and growth opportunities, but none of it has been nearly as hard, not even fucking close, as living in addiction was.

So just know, if this is your thing and you’re still making your way toward sobriety, it’s totally worth it. No caveats. No minimizing. It is 100 percent, unequivocally worth it. You can do it. Keep going.

And to those I’ve met along the way, in church basements, in secret Facebook groups, in Sunday morning zoom meetings, thank you. Your support and wisdom and inspiration means the world to me. We do not do this alone.

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