• David Sales


"Every human has four endowments - self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change." -Stephen Covey

I've mentioned before that I have made my mornings last a long time. Partly because I find it a peaceful, reflective, and grounding time. It is also an opportunity to build positive feelings toward sobriety.

While I took some time to acknowledge a monthly sobriety milestone today, it was a more quiet hug of myself. While I respect the long road ahead on my journey of healing and growing up mentally, I can always stop and take a grateful look at the darkness I walked out of. When I turn my eyes forward again, to see the brighter place I am in today, it strengthens my resolve to keep moving.

It wasn't always this way.

I don't count days anymore. I don't label myself anymore. I don't focus on the substance anymore. I don't live in fear of relapse anymore. I don't shame myself anymore. I don't hide anymore. I don't hate on myself anymore. I'm not dying anymore. These are negative actions for me, and I just don't do negative anymore.

I acknowledge how much better I feel in the morning. I look forward to my day. I take my medication because it helps me. I think about the people I love. I do experience happy memories of lost loved ones. I take part in the world. I embrace my hopes and dreams. I connect with friends and family. I practice gratitude. I am living again. These are positive actions for me, and I just do positive now.

Mixed in the do and the don't, there is also try to and try not and that is okay. I am slowly moving away from my obsession with perfection. My constant search for perfection has been an ever-increasing barrier to life. I don't need barriers of my own creation; I have enough. Perhaps we all do.

Of course, it is easier said than done.

For me, I have had to find growth and learning through a lot of trial and more than a lot of error. My experience with recovery, my own and that of others, has led me to believe that while addicts have many shared traits and experiences, each individual's path to recovery is personal and uniquely our own. We find what works for us, what does not, and what hurts we need to heal. There is always something deep inside that made fertile the ground from which the poisonous flowers of addiction grew. True or not, that is my belief.

There is nothing in this work of exploration that comes easy to me, however each brick I find and place in my own foundation of self-awareness is critical for long-term stability. It is worth the work, no matter how excruciatingly painful it can be.

For these reasons, that is why I make sure I do my do's. They work for me and for my personal growth and recovery, that is all that matters. Becoming comfortable in my own skin is something I've always wanted but have never felt. It has taken me a long time to get here, and I hope it takes a long time to stay here.

Today, as I give myself a hug of gratitude for another month of continued sobriety, I once again turn my gaze toward my future with a growing sense of peace and hope.


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