What Keeps You Sober?

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What keeps you sober? 

Your program? Reading Literature? Meditating on Daily Devotionals? Staying fit or healthy? Reading? Sports? Traveling? Church? Your sponsor or accountability partner?

Based off of what I have observed in the awesome people I have met in the Recovery community, it is usually a combination of several key things and there doesn’t seem to be one secret ingredient.

I have heard a few opinionated (but wrong) friends, family, and nosy onlookers over the years who love to hear themselves give this advice:

“You are just replacing one addiction with another.”  

Really now.
Are we?

I think we need to be very careful about how often we over-use and misinterpret the word addiction. If people understood what it actually meant to be, live, and experience a true addiction, I am not so sure they would use the word as an equivalent to describe a hobby, a passion, or an interest.

There are major differences.

Addiction sucks the life out of its host. It devours souls and leaves you physically and emotionally unrecognizable, exhausted, void, and out of control.

Passions or hobbies is something that you feel a deep emotion for. While maintaining balance is essential to any activity, passions can enhance healthy euphoric feelings and feed our souls and help us to build confidence. We can live out God’s purpose and plan for our lives.  These passions reflect our hearts and are an outward manifestation of what is going on inside of our minds. They fuel and empower us to keep going and to inspire others to do the same.

I recently read a quote in an article that sums it up perfectly:

“Addiction is centrifugal. It sucks the energy from you, creating a vacuum of inertia. A passion energizes you and enriches your relationships. It empowers you and gives strength to others. Passion creates, addiction consumes …”   -Dr. Gabor Mate

(From the article: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20266/i-struggled-with-addiction-for-15-years-heres-how-fitness-keeps-me-sober.html)

What keeps me sober?
Taking care of my family. Giving them the best version of ‘me’.
Blogging. Sharing what I know and what I have learned with others.
Strength training. I want to feel healthy and strong.
Embracing my new life and learning more about who I am every day. I want to live my life authentically.

I am very passionate about all of these things, and they fuel me. They aren’t simple ‘replacements’ for my old lifestyle for one good reason: My unhealthy habits weren’t all centered around my addiction.

I didn’t have one simple problem to beat. My complex problems centered around pain, hurt, resentment, unhealthy coping skills and unresolved emotional issues that stemmed from childhood trauma.

My passions and new interests are blessings to have uncovered. They have grown from the new foundation laid through my faith and because of my choice to get sober.

It was a long process of self-revolution to discover who I am and what I like and what sets my soul on fire.

Which is NOT the same thing as replacing one addiction for another.

 

Tell me.
How do you stay sober?
Do you have something that you are passionate about or new hobbies that you grateful to have discovered?

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