I’ve been sober from alcohol for 6 months and 8 days as of today (January 15th, 2021). That’s 192 consecutive days of not having a drop of alcohol, the longest streak in my life since around 10 years old, definitely by 13.
How did I go from binge drinking for 20 years to getting sober cold turkey without any withdrawals or cravings?
I had a support network at home and beyond that I had a group I turned to, sometimes to help keep them accountable and sometimes for them to help keep me on the path.
Continue reading to find two ways I break down giving and receiving accountability when it comes to addiction and how sometimes it is in offering help that we receive the greatest benefit and affirmation that we’re on the right path.
How Groups Can Help You Remain Accountable
Shame is a hell of a drug, so is friendship and camaraderie.
When you are a part of a group that is working towards a positive aim, you catch yourself really feeling inside your soul that you are in a movement.
When you read the stories of others overcoming, it shows you that yes, this is indeed possible to overcome.
When you see others doing it, you think, “Well if they can, I can” and in that thought the seed is planted. From there you choose to remain in the group, reading more, possibly sharing your story. If you do all of that, you’ve now watered that seed and it’s going to sprout into a plant that, so long as you remain sober, will grow and grow…
That seed will turn into the tree of pride within your soul. It’s not a common thing to hear a content creator share genuine emotions, but dammit as I’m writing this, I am so fucking proud of myself for making it to this point. It wasn’t a DUI, Domestic Issues, Failed Relationships, or anything of the sort.
It was me deciding my fate.
Reading the books, being a part of the R/StopDrinking subreddit, and participating with those inside 365 to Sobriety I have groups that I look forward to reading about and sharing my journey with.
Those who know my story, have watched me go from day #1 to present, and have seen the wins and losses I want to remain connected to them and in that desire, I find greater resolve to remain sober. That group accountability offers motivation and accountability, but they also offer a potential source of shame I don’t want and connection that I want to maintain.
It’s in this that we find the strength of choosing to be an active part of a group, even if just actively lurking initially.
Join my Private Telegram Community for free and start chatting with others who are working to get or remain sober: JOIN 365 to SOBRIETY
How Helping Others Can Help Yourself
Do you ever notice how there are times where giving a gift to someone else makes you happier than if you were to receive one yourself?
Providing guidance and accountability is like that.
Whenever I get a message or photo from someone showing me how long they’ve been sober or how they fixed their relationship with their wife or kids it always fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. That feeling is rarely found elsewhere, like a very niche type of happiness.
When you join a group and someone tells you, “I want to quit x” you’re kind of like, “Yeah, that’s awesome that’ll be really good for this person, I hope they can stay true to their commitment.” then as if there’s an invisible rope connecting them, the thought that always follows is, “I need to make sure I stay true” or “I really should face my issue with x“.
You can’t have people looking up to you or telling you their private goals if you’re not staying true to yourself or your commitments. For some people, not wanting to let others down is the reason they’ve been able to remain sober.
Like Macklemore said,
If I can be an example of gettin’ sober
Then I can be an example of startin’ over
Being an example for others is just as a good of a reason to keep yourself as any out there.
Being a person others can come to with their stories knowing, you will truly “get it” because you’re living it is something which is difficult to explain. You don’t want to lose that connection and bond with those people who, while possibly total strangers, are also connected to you via their struggle and addiction.
In talking with these people and trying to help them help themselves break free from their anchors, you learn more about yourself than you ever could on your own.
In the teaching and guidance, you’re learning and showing yourself the way forward.
Sometimes, it’s only when you choose to finally connect and give yourself to the group that you learn who you are and where you stand as an individual. The group accountability works for all involved, but those who engage and answer others, those are the ones who’ve voluntarily painted a mark on their back.
When you decide to speak up in your group and help others, people start looking to you where they wouldn’t have before and again, you aren’t going to want to be the person who lets others down, which just may be the one thing which makes this attempt at sobriety the one which works, you stop going at it alone.
Whether the group is watching you are you’re choosing to take a leadership position, know that your efforts to combat the addictive nature of your soul are not wasted. I know it can be hard, I know there may have been several attempts before this, but I also know you’re here reading this and because of that, there’s still hope.
Acta Non Verba,
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