from isolation to solitude: How sobriety has changed those words for me
Isolation 1. To set apart or cut off from others. 2. To place in quarantine.
Solitude 1. The state or quality of being alone or remote from others. 2. A lonely or secluded place
I never really thought there was a difference in these two words, but I was doing some reading/reflecting today and it came to me that these words have changed for me over my past 3 years.
When I was drinking, especially toward the end of my drinking. I would isolate myself from people, places and events. I would go to the bar to get drunk. I didn’t want to talk to anyone I just wanted to sit there and power drink. I hated going to busy bars, I was on a mission when I went out and it wasn’t to be social. It was to see how many shots and drinks I could get in before I had to go home.
I also had the same behavior at home, if my girlfriend was out of town or I was house sitting for a friend, I wouldn’t leave the house. I would just watch movies and get blacked out drunk.
I think deep down inside I knew if people saw me drink as much as I did they would think less of me or think I had a problem. I always feared getting calls/texts from people I drank with the night before because I probably did something very stupid.
Now days, I don’t isolate myself from people, places or things. Now days I feel like I’m in a state of solitude. I feel like I can be at peace sitting at home and doing nothing. That is one thing the program has taught me, I’m never alone. God is always with me as long as I let him in.
I used to always feel like I had to be doing something (like going to the bar or finding a reason to drink) but I’m at peace now that I can just sit back and let things come to me. I don’t always have to be running around doing something, I can sit at home and feel at peace with myself because I know I’m never alone. That is one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt.
In my drinking days I never wanted to go to big events or doing anything that involved me having to talk to people because it would cut into my drinking time. Now days I love going to meetings and fellowship events. I actually look forward to them. I’m not afraid of talking in front of groups of people anymore and I actually enjoy it.
I am so grateful to be sober today and to not have the need to isolate myself from people, place and events. If i choose to enjoy some solitude I still know I’m not alone because I’ve alway got God with me and if my attitude changes to isolating myself I have friends at meetings and fellowship events.
You are never alone.
my motivation to change
I was doing some thinking tonight and listened to a speaker friend of mine who was talking about making changes in your life. About 2 1/2 years ago I made the choice to give up drinking. I’ve had people ask me “why or how did you decide to do it?” The answer shocks a lot of people, I was sick of being in trouble, plan and simple. Every 3 or 4 years I would get another dui and I promised myself after every dui I would never get another one. I would be responsible and not drive when I had been drinking. That didn’t work very good.
So after waking up in jail for my 3rd dui, I knew I had to make a change in my life. I was trying to control my drinking but actually drinking was controlling me. So my motivation at first to quit drinking was simple, “how can I never get another dui in my life?” The answer was easy once I had a clear head, to never drink again.
So if you think you might have a drinking problem and want to quit, don’t go looking for some huge flash in the sky to motivate you. Look for the smaller things like staying out of jail, keeping a job or not losing your kids. Remember to keep it simple and don’t over think it.
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
Psychologists have long speculated about whether birth order influences personality. Research indicates that there are generalities that seem to be true in many families. The findings are based on a family of three, but can be adapted for other combinations, too. In summary:
1. First born…
Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.
1. Ask yourself “What’s important?” Take a step back and think about what’s important to you. What do you really want to be doing, who do you want to spend your time with, what do you want to accomplish with your work? Make a short list of 4-5 things for your life, 4-5 people you want to spend…
attitude of gratitude
Just think about how great the world would be if everyone had this attitude.
Lately I’ve been thinking about this saying, be thankful for what you have and not what you don’t have. I’ve been trying to be better at taking a daily inventory and when I’ve been resentful or upset about someone or something I try to say what I’m thankful for today. This just refocuses my thinking and I don’t go down a very long and dark road that would usually lead me to drinking. Drinking was my escape for my resentments and made me forget about things I thought I needed. I’m not perfect by any means but I’m working on it. But today I’m thankful I’m sober, I have a good job, a roof over my head, a beautiful fiancé and two cute fur balls aka my cats. Life is good and that is all I need for today.
If you look at what you have and try to concentrate on positive things the negative things seem to go away.