For those of you reading, I relapsed in February 2018 (The Relapse) after ten years of sobriety. I knew full well it was coming. I became hopeless and just gave up. On September 14, 2018, I got back into sobriety. I’m fortunate to live in a chemical dependency residential program, working with a Sponsor and have a strong sober network.
First and foremost, I wasn’t involved in my own sobriety. First, like most if not all people that relapse, I wasn’t attending recovery meetings (AA or NA). I made excuses not to go. Second, my Sponsor and I grew apart, thus I wasn’t calling him regularly. Lastly, I wasn’t “practicing the principles in all my affairs”. I was a dry dunk after moving from Binghamton in July 2017. I wasn’t drinking but I wasn’t apply a spiritual program to my life either.
Working as a CNA was the worst decision of my life. While it can be rewarding at times, the amount of stress involved working in that field is tremendous, therefore I will not be working as a CNA again. I saw so much abuse, neglect and injustice, I literally went insane.
Second, I really never worked on my codependency issues. Unfortunately, those reared their ugly heads time after time. This last time was devastating to me because I got involved in a relationship with another active addict after my relapse.
So what am I doing now?
I attending one to two meetings per day. I’m also involved in a chemical dependency outpatient program. I mentioned I live in a chemical dependency residential program which I moved from a 3/4 house to a supportive living program. I also got a Sponsor the second month I was here and we are working through the 12 Steps of AA. In addition I’m also attending CoDA (Codependents Anonymous) and GA (Gamblers Anonymous).
My Sponsor is giving me a new perspective of the Big Book. Instead of just going through the Steps, we actually started reading from the first page (pg. xi – Preface). We take turns reading the Big Book. He also references Joe & Charlie’s Big Book Study which I had never heard of until now. He agreed we will probably just review Step 1-3 since he feels I still have a good handle on those Steps. Step 4 onward, I’ll be doing the Steps all over again. I have absolutely no problem doing ALL Steps over again.
I just left a 3/4 house (seven guys in one house, we all share a bedroom except the senior who gets his own) I’ve been living in since October when I got here. I’ve moved in a separate apartment with just three guys. The other two guys don’t participate in a 12 Step program. However, one of them is leaving and then one of the guys from the 3/4 house is coming here next week.
Outpatient treatment isn’t doing a damn thing for me. It took me a month to get into it. I wasn’t impressed with the process of admission at all. There is a constant turn around with clients (I mean I hardly see the same people in my groups week to week). One counselor didn’t know how to run a group properly but she has not left the practice. Recently I removed myself from a group because I had no reason for being in that group to begin with as none of the subject matters pertained to me – at all. Despite the negative experiences, I am still participating and will continue to attend groups.
While I attend AA or NA groups once or twice a day, I also have been attending CoDA and GA meetings. CoDA just started a meeting in the area. I’m glad for this meeting because now I’m more aware of my codependency issues. GA meetings are supposedly on Sunday but the last time I attempted to attend, no one showed up. This surprises me since I live very near Turning Stone Casino. Despite this, I’ll keep trying.
I haven’t had any dire circumstances arise as of yet. There were a few groups which brought up resentments which I identified. This is the first Christmas without my old Sponsor (since his passing in April 2018), so I’m still processing those feelings. But overall, I’m doing really good. I’m right where I’m suppose to be, doing what I’m suppose to be doing.
I have hope again!