Belief, Prayer and Determination
Living a life in recovery is not an easy path by any means. There are highs and lows, obstacles and barriers that can hinder even the most determined individuals. Sometimes, recovery can be as easy or as hard as you make it. It is a continuous daily process of facing everyday life and issues that made you use in the first place.
I owe my strength to three personal characteristics that I have learned throughout the process. I have found that belief, prayer, and determination have gotten me to the place where I am today.
I remember when I first entered treatment and I sat in a room of 60 men. We were told that only one in four of us would see that first year of sobriety. As the years of sobriety increased, the odds got worse. As I looked around the room, I started to wonder who out of the four men at my table was going to make it.
When I got to treatment, I honestly did not believe in myself. My self-esteem was non-existent. As the days grew into weeks, my belief in myself was nourished and began to grow. Somehow, in the protected bubble of a treatment center, I actually started to believe that I could actually be that one in four men that make it to that first year of sobriety. It wasn’t until I was released back into society that I found out that I needed more than just a belief in myself. I needed prayer, and a lot of it.
When I was using, I was not a very religious person. In fact, I only remember praying when I had a hangover. I remember praying to God, “If You get me through this, I will never drink again.” That usually lasted until that afternoon.
The day my father died, I somehow found myself in front of my familiar package store ready to put an end to my new found sobriety. I sat there and watched many people enter and exit the store. The whole time I sat there, I prayed for strength, dug in to find those mindfulness tools, and breathed. I talked myself down from the ledge and made my way safely home. Every day since, prayer has become a constant part of my daily routine. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
Determination is something that I found in the rooms. Time of sobriety is commemorated by coins. In your first year you get coins based on months of sobriety. In my first year, I treasured each and every coin like a rite of passage. After the first year of sobriety, coins symbolize each year of being clean. To this day, I am in awe of those strong determined individuals that amass 5, 10, even 20 years of continuous sobriety. I want what they have. That determination and strength that my fellow peers show in the rooms is inspiring. It strengthens my determination to live an honest, clean, sober life each day.
Like I mentioned before, sobriety is not easy. But with belief, prayer, and determination, I have been able to navigate through the hard times in the past three years. I owe my life to those who taught me how to believe in myself, those who opened my mind to the power of prayer, and those friends in the room that have shown me that sheer determination is a strength that I have in myself.
If you would like to share your story with Heroes in Recovery you can contact me at Bo@heroesinrecovery.com. By sharing your story, you inspire others to break the stigma associated with substance use and mental health issues.