Do you know how long it takes to get 1 day sober?  24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds… should I keep going? 

You see, before I went into treatment I could barely put together a couple of hours, let alone days of not drinking. I would set all these limits on my drinking. No drinking Monday through Friday afternoon. I would then find myself counting the minutes until Friday after work if I managed to make it that long. The Monday through Friday experiment would eventually fail as all my so-called attempts did. 

It wasn’t until I fully surrendered to my disease that I completely saw how hopeless I really was at stopping drinking on my own. That is a dark and lonely place to be in. But there was hope, I just didn’t know it yet.

How was I able to accomplish certain things on my own hard work and willpower, but not able to stop drinking on my own? To be completely honest, it wasn’t until I got sober that it hit me like a thunderbolt, I didn’t do any of those past accomplishments completely on my own, I had help.

From my coaches that taught me how to be a better player and teammate. To my company commanders and shipmates in Navy boot camp who pushed me to my very limits and beyond. As well as instructors I have had in various positions over the years that have brought out the best version of me. In every one of those situations, I had mentorship. So why should my sobriety and recovery be any different? It wasn’t and still isn’t today!

From the very minute I went into treatment I had help. From the detox nurse that was completely understanding and caring for what I was going through. To my first drug and alcohol counselor that called me out on my bullshit. How could I forget my very own group members who were there for me when I was struggling at times and there to push me out of my comfort zone when I was trying to skate by. My first and current sponsor would hold me accountable for my actions. Finally, my home group of men showed me that sobriety wasn’t just possible, but it could be fun.

Each one of those people and groups was teaching me something about recovery and sobriety.

I went from crossing out days on a calendar while I was in that treatment facility to celebrating my next milestone in sobriety. Then I hit the one-year mark, or 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds if you prefer. If it seems like I’m trying to emphasize time here, I am. Those were all sober amounts of time and a huge victory for me. From counting the seconds till I could drink and blackout again, to sober milestones; all because someone was there to show me how.

Today I get that same opportunity to pass this gift on to others who may suffer if they’ll have it. Showing them it all starts with one sober breath, one sober second, one sober minute,  Is how I give back today.

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