I have been thinking about this expression and what it means to me. What do I have to do to stop drinking forever? What does ‘whatever it takes’ look like for me? What does it look like for you?
I am still figuring it out, but so far what I am doing seems to be working as far as keeping me off the booze in the short-term. But is it enough to sustain me comfortably in sobriety for years to come? Maybe, maybe not. It scares me that it is so easy to relapse and so difficult to tell if I am on the right path.
I think this is a big deal in recovery because you cannot just stop drinking and expect everything in your life to get better or change. I have been realizing that I need to slowly begin to work on building a new kind of life. A life that is not centered around alcohol in any way, shape or form. A life that is better, bigger, more beautiful and more whole. I need to let go of the past and who I used to be. This requires facing some fears and a whole lot of limiting beliefs that have been with me for a long time.
‘Whatever it takes’ is different for everyone. Some people need to go to AA meetings every day to stay sober, and that is 100% okay. Some people need to anonymously blog and tell nobody about their problem, and that’s okay too. Whatever works is whatever works is whatever works FOR YOU. Being honest with ourselves is so important, because only we know if we are doing enough at any given time.
Right now I believe I am doing enough. It is such a relief to know that there is more out there for me if I need it. AA- I’m talking to you. It seems that my daily routine of reading, reading, writing, talking, and reading some more is working. I mainly stay home. I hang out with my husband and son. I avoid social events that make me uncomfortable and talk to my drinking family on the phone less. I am setting boundaries that are difficult and uncomfortable but so, so necessary. That is okay because it is what I need to do to stay sober right now. It will change as I change. ‘Whatever it takes’ will look different as my sober time lengthens. It already looks different than it did on my first shaky day.
I need to challenge myself and get out of this comfort zone, though, if my sobriety is going to last forever. This much I am sure of.
So… what do you say? Let’s challenge ourselves to live bigger lives. To be our best selves. To worry less and pray more. To make goals and begin taking small steps to accomplish them. To do whatever it takes to be free.
We deserve all the good stuff that life has to offer.