Rewrite the Story

I struggled with my sobriety in the beginning. I wanted to be sober, but alcohol had immersed itself in my subconscious so deeply, that getting sober involved me grieving for my previous life as a drinker. My counselor would say, “It’s like losing your best friend.” Your drug of choice was not your friend, obviously, but it was always there for you. Dependable. Predictable. And a piece of you. A piece of you that you have to let go of.

Something that helped me through that was the realization that I could create a new life. New pieces of me. I wasn’t tied to alcohol, as much as it felt like it. I could walk away from whenever I was ready. And I could make a new life, write a new story. This week’s safe coping strategy:

Create a new story. You are the author of your life; be the hero who overcomes adversity.

Think of the book or movie that would be made about your life. You don’t want to be remembered as a drunk or drug addict that succumbed to addiction, got some horrible resulting disease, and left the world too early. This should not be your legacy.

Instead, you want to be remembered positively. As someone who was a good person, and put a lot of good out into the world. You want people to remember the joy you brought to their lives. And in the end, you’d like to be known for the long, productive, positive life you lead. Right?

With sobriety, you have the unique chance to rewrite the ending of your story. You have the opportunity to rewrite the middle to, what leads you to the end. Getting sober gives you a second chance at life. And a chance to do and try new things, and make the life you have always wanted for yourself.

You don’t have to trudge through, day after day, living a mundane life. I think that’s what some people struggling to get sober are afraid of. That somehow their life will be less exciting, more boring. But it can be so exciting.

Make a new story. Be the hero of that story. Live each day like the blessing that it is.

You Write Your Story

I returned home from my second stay at my rehab house on Saturday afternoon, and I feel like I’m on the precipice of a new beginning. There’s a lot of possibility standing right in front of me this time. Freedom to explore new activities, new places, new parts of my personality. So, for this week I have chosen this safe coping strategy:

Create a new story. You are the author of your life.

This is just all-around great advice for anyone, any walk of life, facing any adversity. Our lives are what we make of them. We make our own choices, and as a result of those choices, we create our stories.

Some choices are small: paper or plastic? one cup of coffee or two? soup or salad? get up or hit snooze?

Some choices are big: take the new job? move to the new city? have a baby? go back to school?

But, big or small, every choice we make has some sort of effect on our lives, and changes the outcome of our individual stories.

It’s an important thing to remember when you are in recovery. The choices you make today affect the outcome of tomorrow. You have to remember your goals, and the things you’d like to have happen to you in life, and the way you’d like your life to turn out.

If you have a moment where you’re doubting yourself, maybe you’ve been exposed to a trigger or maybe you’re just having a craving, focus on the story you’re attempting to write for yourself. If you give in and use, what does that do to your story? What are the possible (probable) outcomes for the choices that lay in front of you?

If you take even just a ten second break to really think about what you’re feeling and what’s going on inside of your head, you will likely choose the right path. We all want our story to be a good one, to turn out the way that makes not only us, but all of our loved ones, have a long, prosperous, happy story to tell people later.

And most importantly, no one else can write your story. That’s all up to you. Take the time to consider your options and make the choices that will benefit you the most in the end. We can all have a great story if we stay strong and focused on our goals.