I think what a lot of people who are new in recovery don't realize is that every night when they go to bed and they're clean and sober their self-esteem comes up just a little bit more. You may not see or feel it happening, but it definitely is. String 30 clean and sober days together like that, and suddenly, when you look back you realize you're now a much different person than when you started. Somehow the person staring you back in the mirror is a whole lot more likeable than he/she used to be. If that's the case after only 30 days imagine how you're gonna feel after an entire year of that. I guess I bring this up because I see a lot of newcomers get discouraged in the first 30 days, focusing as they often do on things like anger, depression, financial worries, relationship issues, etc. They think that if they're feeling bad now then somehow the whole recovery thing's just not working for them. What they so often fail to realize, however, during those first 30 days is that there's really one thing and one thing only which matters--staying clean and sober. Every night you go to bed without a drink or a drug is a great day in your life, regardless of how lousy you may feel or how stressful your day might have been. Everyday you go to bed clean and sober, emotionally, physically, spiritually, you're doing a little more healing and, thus, are moving a little closer to becoming the person you--and God--always wanted you to be. If you aske me, that's pretty exciting. All I have to do is not drink/drug and--presto!-- I become a new and better person. You just have to have faith and trust the process. That means when I wake up in the morning I remind myself of my condition--alcoholic/addict--and make a commitment to do anything and everything w/in my power to stay clean and sober that day. I fight like hell if need be to get through the day, an hour at a time sometimes, because there's nothing like sleeping at night w/o the burdens of guilt and shame and regret and remorse draggiing me down and spitting me out the next morning feeling drained and ugly and less than human. The keys, I guess, are faith and hard work. I've been around this thing called recovery a pretty good long while now, and never once have I met a man or woman who ever expressed any regrets about being clean and sober. At the same time, I also never met a man or woman who got there w/o working their ass off. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but it's a ride you'll never forget and surely never regret.
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