From a member of a LifeRing email group:

I joined LifeRing on December 9th of 2011, it was day 3 for me .

I was miserable! Guilt, shame , self-loathing, remorse and despair had become my constant companions. I felt like I was in a state of perpetual grief; I couldn’t think of one good thing to say about myself.  I was terribly lonely, sad and depressed. I was so desperate to change my life…. the drinking that initially brought me relief a long time ago had now taken over my life and kept me in a constant state of misery.

Those first few months were hard at times….early on, some mornings I woke up feeling physically worse then when I was drinking.  But I have to say that some days were wonderful simply because….I was doing it, I was going to bed sober and waking up with a clear conscience if not a clear head.  I hung in there because the good people of LifeRing kept reminding me that there would be good days as well as bad days. I believed them.

Today is day 400 for me!  That’s 399 days of going to bed sober!

So what is my life like today? My life is not perfect by any means….I still face challenges like everyone does, you know…stuff….

The difference is that I don’t obsess about this stuff like I did when I was going to bed drunk every night.  I’m much calmer, my moods are stable for the most part.  I have moments of joy and laughter in my life…..real laughter. I have hope. I sleep well. I look my age now instead of looking 10 years older. I have color in my cheeks and my eyes are clear. I feel so much lighter having rid myself of my constant companions noted above.

This is in total contrast of the feelings of despair I felt when I was drinking.  I love my new sober life!

I don’t crave alcohol and pot anymore….never!  I have thoughts of drinking on rare occasion, but they’re just that ….thoughts….I laugh at them!  I mean, these thoughts don’t have any power over me…..the sober me is in the driver’s seat now.

I still make sobriety and recovery the number one priority in my life…I will not put myself in dangerous situations.  No alcohol in my house, never!  I don’t hang out with people who drink….I don’t listen to music that reminds me of drinking and I don’t participate in activities that remind me of drinking.

I take time every day to express gratitude for being sober…..gratitude  for  the freedom to live my life without guilt, shame and remorse.

I’ll say it again….Everything, and I do mean everything, is better now that I’m sober…..even the bad days!

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see…”     Dr.Robert Holden

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