Sobriety is like a love relationship. When you start out, everything is exciting and new. When I first got clean, everything I read, saw and heard about sobriety was very attractive to me. I spent my free time getting to know it in the same way I would get to know a new woman. The possibilities of new love seemed to stretch on endlessly, and my shiny new affair with sobriety felt the same way.
After a while, in any relationship, the newness wears off and that is when the work begins. Some of the things you didn’t notice about her before, now glare like a flashlight beam in your eyes. If the relationship is going to survive, you have to find a way to accept those things as part of the package while preserving your feelings of love for that person.
I used to love parties. I eagerly anticipated being the life of the party, making everyone have a good time. Getting high before going was part of that routine. Once the newness of sobriety wore off I realized I no longer attend parties. Little family gatherings sure, but I’m talking about the huge, loud, epic, talked about on Facebook parties of my past life. And I discovered that I miss them but I also know they are a trigger for me so I must remain party-free if I want to maintain my sobriety.
Just as you have to realize that the good about your life partner far outweighs the bad, there comes a time in sobriety when you must remind yourself that the benefits of this life outweigh anything you miss.
You may be interested in: Dealing with a drug addict: How I started letting go
Taking on sobriety as a true life partner is going to give you a lifelong relationship as solid and comfortable as the 60-year marriages featured in the news every so often, but those marriages didn’t get there on their own. They were worked for, committed to and regardless of what else happened in life, those couples put their marriages first.
I am approaching sobriety in the same way. The newness is gone, but in its place is familiarity, comfort and a contentment that no drug ever really provided. This is a relationship worth putting first and with any luck and some hard work; we will go the distance together.
Related: Is addiction just a choice?