Trudge The Road Of Happy Destiny
Individuals with different lengths of continuous sobriety share some words of wisdom.
BY PAULO MURILLO
This new column in THE FIGHT is dedicated to local individuals in recovery. There are many ways to obtain sobriety. THE FIGHT does not favor, promote, or condone one method of getting sober over another. We approach sobriety openly and ask that people share in a general way.
We asked individuals with different lengths of continuous sobriety to share some words of wisdom, which helps them stay on their sober path as they trudge the road of happy destiny. We thank you for sharing.
“I remember a man over 30 years sober would always say, ‘If anybody is going to drink tonight, it’s better you than me. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.’ Every time he said that, it pissed me off, but what that man’s comment did for me was challenge me to stay sober and that’s helped me throughout my recovery. No matter how much time I have, I’ve always met my challenges head on, whether it’s a challenge with my character defects, an individual, a family member, or making an amends…these challenges keep me sharp and remind me that I can be close to that first drink.” Challenges keep me constantly reaching for my tools.
—Joseph Augustine, sober since October, 2009
“What comes to my mind is the word responsibility. We are responsible for our own actions and our own happiness. No one is to blame for the things that come upon me. They are all of my own making. We have to drop the word blame from our vocabulary. I think that is one of the most profound things in the world. I think people struggle the most with surrender. You have to surrender to the idea that this is what’s happening and not blame everyone. Everyone has had a hard life. It’s no reason to drink.”
—Don Norman, sober since August, 1979.
“Getting sober has always been the easier part. It’s the staying sober part that I struggle with. What helps me through it is the most basic component of recovery, taking things one day at a time. Of course, tomorrow always comes and we have to plan our weeks but when it comes to taking on tasks and managing my addiction, I break things down into smaller, edible bits. I do that with most things in life now. That’s what keeps me sober.”
—Jeremy Manning, sober since April, 2014.
“Being clean and in recovery are two different things to me. Clean means I put the drugs and alcohol down, recovery means that I am actively working on my character defects and learning how to live without the use of drugs. Today I am trustworthy and people consider me a good person with good intentions. This hasn’t come easy. To do this, I need to remain humble and willing to take the advice of those who came before me. I need to be honest, open-minded and willing to do whatever it takes it to stay clean. The rewards are well worth the effort, because every day I don’t use, I become that person I have always hoped to be.”
—Chris Murillo, sober since July, 2006.
“The first thing that comes to mind is the phrase that says, you can’t think your way into right action, but you can act your way into right thinking. That’s a big one that I often forget. Without getting to into the catch phrases and daily reprieves, another thing I have to remind myself is recovery is not a quick fix. It’s a process. Every morning, I start from square one as if I’m in my first day of sobriety. As the say, yesterday’s shower isn’t going to keep you clean today.”
—Bruce Heller, sober since February, 2012.
“What I’ve learned in recovery that helps me maintain some serenity in my life is to pause when agitated. I learned not to react on the spot. Today I have the ability to take 10 seconds before responding to a problem. Sometimes I need more than 10 seconds. Taking that moment makes a huge difference in dealing with life on life’s terms and the end result always leads to me having some peace of mind.”
—Michael Henehan, sober since October, 2001.
“I have to be sober to have a decent life. Today my quest is to find my bliss and that’s what keeps me sober. The whole point to being sober is to be happy. The more joyous I am, the more wellbeing flows to me. I’ve proven that to myself time and time again. I needed to be sober to save my life. Now I just want to be happy.”
—Judd Minter, sober since November, 2005.