“What the hell did I get myself into?” was the first thought that came into my mind the second I left my first 12-step meeting. All I knew is that I didn’t want to feel how I felt anymore. I had no idea what I was doing. So I knew I needed to surround myself with those who appeared to have a bit more knowledge on how to live life and be happy in recovery.
I still surround myself with these people. They are amazing and they have so much wisdom and experience. I would be doing a disservice to the world if I kept them and their insights to myself.
10 of my bad ass friend’s unexpected gifts of sobriety.
“For me it has been the meaningful relationships with other people in Alcoholics Anonymous and actually in the real world mainly. I have basically had an entire family here take me in as their own family over the last couple of years. I go to holiday functions with them and things of that nature. These people didn’t even know me before I got sober. I had lost that with my family and something placed these people in my life, and it’s definitely the most unexpected thing”.
Taylor, 4 1/2 years in recovery
“Recognizing and appreciating the beauty and spirituality and joy in simplicity- drinking a hot cup of tea wrapped up in a blanket reading a book in dim lighting, the laughter that my dogs’ personalities bring me every day, the smell and sound of a burning candle, the calmness of a hot shower, my boyfriend rubbing my back while laying with him after a long day in the dark before bed, his smell after a hard days work, cause to him he smells dirty but to me he smells like sunshine and productivity”.
Elizabeth, 5 1/2 years in recovery
“Not needing everyone’s approval”.
Caroline, 2 years in recovery
“Being okay with who I am”.
Marion, 1 1/2 years in recovery
“Being able to open up to women. Being able to tell them all of the nasty things I did and no longer feel shame about it. To be able to let go of the things I thought I’d take to my grave and be able to use it as a tool to help others. I am able to be completely honest now. I have no secrets. I am free”.
Emma, 3 years in recovery
“I have a guilty conscience. I know when I am wrong, when I’ve sinned, when I’m acting on my humanly desires, when I feel that sick feeling in my stomach. That feeling prevents me from making the same mistakes because I can’t just numb it anymore with drugs or alcohol. Instead I get to act differently and grow”.
Jessica, 5 years in recovery
“The peace that I have today where I am at ease with myself. I don’t have racing thoughts. I know God loves me and other people’s opinions don’t have power over my life. I am free to be who I truly am and not apologize for it. I Can transfer that peace to other men and help them on their own journey towards peace”.
George, 3 years in recovery
“Having more fun doing things sober than I did when I was drunk, which I never thought would happen. Pretty much every gift was unexpected. Being able to be alive and sober is fun unlikely gift in itself. I wanted to get sober and live. But I thought I’d just be a lame person. Because everything I ever did was with alcohol so going to a concert sober for the first time was really cool because I danced and I was sober and the coolest part was that I remembered what the band played and I remembered the night. Even going to the beach, I did that drunk. Now I am able to notice things and be present and that makes things more fun. I get to have memories”.
Katelyn, 2 years in recovery
“The unlikely gift of sobriety is that when I feel knocked down at every door and every corner, I don’t have to use over it or allow it to control my whole life”
Rachel, 7 years in recovery
“Dude, all the biddies. I’m a chick magnet since I’ve been sober, bruh. Seriously doe, it’s unlikely because I’m a nerd”
Bill, woke up at 5:35am, refuses to share how much time he currently has sober, states he is a sober man of integrity that works 12 steps and actively sponsors men, has a home group, a service commitment, and a spot on Palm Beach H&I committee
I’ve never laughed so hard. I’ve never had more fun. I’ve never loved my life more than I do now. These are unexpected gifts of recovery. When I began my sober journey, all I wanted was to not feel how I felt anymore. I could have never anticipated that my life would be as full of beauty, fun, joy, and connection as it is today, even on my most challenging days.