How soon is too soon?

How do you know when to do things in sobriety? “No major changes in the first year” is a common suggestion for newcomers in AA. It means holding off on moving, changing jobs, starting a relationship, etc. It’s not a bad suggestion. If these things don’t work out — or even if they do — change can drive people to drink or use again.

I never listened to anyone before, so why would it be any different now? I have been sober for over a year and things are quite frankly…..awesome. And that scares the hell out of me. I had a conversation with my ex-wife last week and told her how thankful I was that she was there for our kids and that she deserved my 1 year coin more than I did. The comment she made was like she was right there in my brain. “I just don’t trust it yet, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop”.

My thoughts exactly, the thought of complacency scares me, almost to the point of where I am afraid to do anything but focus on my recovery. But that is not living.

I have made some major moves in the first year of my recovery which I think have made me appreciate my sobriety for the very first time. I was a chef for close to 10 years. It was everything I ever wanted and worked for, but in the end it was also a big reason why I drank all the time. Now I am not saying that being a chef made me drink(although doing a 400 cover brunch on a Sunday morning would make just about anyone drink) I am saying it was too easy to drink being a chef and it was widely excepted coming in to work hung over and smelling like a brewery from the night before. Not the greatest environment for me. And I am thankful that I was able to recognize this fact.

I had to walk away. I was scared and I was unsure of the outcome, but I knew that if I made this choice that there was no going back. Probably one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I am now continually working that 12th step on a daily basis (Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.) I am going to be going to school to become an addiction counselor and I currently work for a sober living facility. I enjoy helping others and it is what I believe to be my true calling.

It hasn’t been all roses and puppy dog tails, it has been probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. And it continues to be difficult each day presenting new challenges and obstacles. That’s why we live one day at a time. Because if we look too far ahead we are missing this ever important present, which is shaping our future. Live, love and be happy, don’t be afraid to take chances, you never know it might end up being the best thing you ever did.


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