I used a certain mantra every day for months and then years - initially it was "unconditional sobriety" and since then, I decided to name the blog "unconditional recovery" so that people with other addiction issues would be just as open to reading this blog as someone familiar of course with the word sobriety. It is the unconditional part that means so much to me. Simply put there is no condition to which I will allow myself to use again or drink again - none, not ever.
As I progressed with this notion I realized I was also closing the door on my substance of choice. I no longer was ever going to romanticize my drug or alcohol use again. I was never going to try and stir up that portion of my brain and inner being by recalling what I thought was that good feeling or relaxation or numbness I received from imbibing. Alcohol assumed a relationship with me that acted like it was my friend. But, my relation to alcohol became first a dependent one and finally a poisonous and noxious one and it was killing me and destroying my life around me. So, as I closed this proverbial door to using in any way or form, I also unconditionally gave up thinking about alcohol and the "good ole times" that actually never existed in the first place.
This allowed me to cross over the chasm and no longer hang on any fence, halfway in and halfway out the doorway. I no longer allowed my inner self to imagine what it would be like to pop those ice cubes in the glass and think or feel what that first drink would taste and feel like. I realized that such behavior was still part of the addiction and was allowing a substance, in this case alcohol, to continue to assume some kind of relationship in my life - and, quite simply put, why would I subject myself to such a behavior? Why would I let myself for one moment believe that a substance like alcohol or an addictive pill or pain-killer would ever be a way for me to feel better or to engage in life in a healthy way? Why would I place such power in a substance, a substance that at one point almost destroyed everything I loved about life?
Just as the adage says, as soon as one closes a door, a new doorway or path opens up - well, that is what finally happened. It did not occur in an instant nor was it supposed to. Remember, we addicts and alcoholics learn to love the instant gratification, the sudden change of 'feeling' within, so why would I ever expect a new door to open immediately. But, eventually that door did open and I realized that I had not just closed up shop working in a demeaning environment that abused my very being - I had gradually opened up to a wonderful way to live, free from addiction, not complacent about the perils of addiction - not for one moment of one day - but able to embrace a fulfilling and enriching life. I closed the door to addiction, turned around and said good-bye to that way of life and found abundance, gratitude, inspiration and love.