Guilt and shame accompany active addiction like salt and pepper on scrambled eggs. An old sponsor of mine repeatedly told me to quit beating myself up over things I’d already done. His point was this – guilt and shame caused me to react exponentially worse. And it served no purpose.
The earth-shattering irony is that some of our greatest mistakes become our most valuable assets after sobriety takes hold. When I share my experience with another man regarding arrests, jails and institutions, it’s indescribable to watch his reaction go from fear to relief – relief that someone finally understands.
I see a lot of men and women get sober and think that, in and of itself, is a solution. What they fail to recognize is that drugs and alcohol were an answer to an unhealthy emotional condition. This condition came about through an unhealthy lifestyle, so simply getting rid of drugs and alcohol won’t go far enough to ensure a positive outcome.
There’s work to be done – work to restore a healthy balance in life, work to remove unhealthy habits and work to regain the confidence of those we love. When this happens, sustained sobriety is a certainty. And a good life is the natural consequence.
Rob Lowe rocks. If you’ve never seen him in Parks and Recreation, turn off your computer and watch it immediately.
Many people don’t know that Rob is in long-term recovery. This shouldn’t be too much of a secret, as he has discussed his sobriety on a public level in mainstream media.
By far and away, this is my favorite quote. Sobriety was and continues to be the greatest gift I ever gave myself. If you’re reading this and haven’t experienced the rewards of recovery, I hope you find the courage to grab the gift too.