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Anonymous – 3 years and 3 months sober

green converse on wooden floor

When my father was murdered on his farm on Christmas day in 2014, I relapsed.
My previous relapse was 6 months earlier when my mother had a stroke.

After I cleaned myself up again, I made a decision, to be prepared for the potential of a future relapse.

The thing is, you can never completely prepare yourself for sadness or shock in your life, but you can prepare how you will deal with crises. When ‘life happens’ is usually an excuse to start using again, rather prepare yourself to make sure any bad situations do not become triggers to start using again.

I have been through some horrific stuff in my life over the last 4 years. The kind of stuff you can never imagine or prepare for like car accidents, loss of income, possible, loss of friendships… backstabbing from family. I prepare myself for all possible scenarios, so if anything bad happens, I do not jump up and claim to be shocked and need a drink.

I have worked out steps and support structures in advance and plan to stay sober. I have planned ahead in order to cope and also who I will turn to for support. I have made sure that my support structures were aware of what I would require from them to get through a difficult time.

I lost my mother recently. She was my best friend, my confidant, my shopping partner, my laughing buddy, my gossip mate… my whole world. My mother meant everything to me. Boy, could we have fun. She passed away on a Sunday. I would be lying to you if I said we did not expect her passing, but nothing prepares you for the shock and pain you still go through.

On her death-bed, I made her a promise, I said I would never get fat or drink again. This was part of my plan to stay sober. I hold onto the promise I made to my mother. A promise I just can’t break.

Life is difficult. Life is cruel. Life is even worse when you have to handle things under the influence. Life is so much easier and less cruel if you are sober and handle the situation with a clear mind.

Often I see addicts just waiting for something to happen just to have an excuse to relapse. The problem with that is that you are actually looking and hoping for sad things to happen as an excuse to relapse. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol do not solve problems, only making them worse. After each relapse, you will have to get sober again. All you actually achieve by relapsing is putting yourself back months and years of sober time.

Imagine standing next to your mother’s grave drunk because you could not handle her death. How sad will you be when you are sober again. You to think back on being drunk at the funeral of somebody who you respect and care for.

I am 3 years and 3 months sober and am going to stay that way.
I want my family to be proud of me.
I want to be proud of myself.
I want everybody that thought I was going to relapse, to look at me and say, “If she can do it, so can I”.

Staying sober shows your fellow addicts that it can be done, no matter what life throws at you.

Alcoholics Anonymous 

South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence