My wife and I were sitting around talking today and I had a few questions on my mind. If most of you didn’t already know, she isn’t an addict. But the best part about it for me is that she understands addiction pretty well, understands recovery well, and is completely abstinent and sober herself. Now what I’d always thought was that she had stopped for me when we’d gotten together, and that isn’t completely false. But to my surprise it’s not that hard for her either; I’m not sure why I’m surprised by that, but it really isn’t hard for her to say no. So I asked her, if you’re not an addict and you’re not in recovery, then why don’t you drink or drug, and why do you live by the Substance For You motto, “100% sober?” Here’s what she said…
“I usually would only drink in my past when I was broken hearted or if I had a personal problem. Don’t most people? But the reason why I stay sober now is because of my husband. I’ve heard so much about people being alcoholics, into drugs, and dying from the consequences. Not to mention I don’t really like the taste of it. But today I have nearly two years sober, but I don’t call myself sober because I never used to get too thirsty for alcohol in the first place. I would occasionally drink, but I stopped when I met my husband because I just wasn’t too into it."
When I was back in the Philippines and I’d heard of people getting sick from alcoholism and dying from drugs I would get the thought that, “If you know it’s not good for you, then why do you keep doing it?” Of course I understand that you’re doing it because you’re in pain, but how long can you stay in pain? Usually you would think that your liver would give out on you faster than that, but for some it didn’t. And I truly don’t get that, but for me, it scares me. And then when I got to the United States and was with my husband who’d really been through addiction and was able to tell me some of the horror stories about it, and its dangers, I felt sad but above all else I didn’t get the urge to say, “Yeah let me go try that!” like some addicts get when their addiction escalates. In return from hearing my husband tell me these things that happened to him and his friends, and the more I started to love him, the more I wanted to stay sober not just for myself but to give a positive image for him, for Substance For You, and for everyone we’d encounter. It just seemed like the right choice.
There were also times that I had the opportunity to drink while I was still in the Philippines and my husband was in the United States, but I didn’t do it. My friends and I were gathering for some final farewells and it’s not a big thing amongst them either, but they do it occasionally. All of my family and friends drink occasionally, it’s something to do to pass time and they never really get too messed up with it. But there was something about this time that it seemed more unappealing than ever, and I attributed that to my husband. It was almost like a sense of staying pure for him before our marriage. I know it was one last hurrah before I left the Philippines and could’ve been seen like a bachelorette party or something, but knowing him and him being in recovery I just couldn’t do it and I took a vow to him to stay sober as well as celibate. The two went hand in hand in our relationship, especially since it was such long distance for such a long time. If I’m going to marry him, and I did, I needed to respect his boundaries even if he wasn’t there. It doesn’t matter if he’s 8000 miles away from me or if he’s in the other room, we both have our limitations and I still respect those to this day!”
So as you see we all have our reasons for staying sober and not all of them are because you are, or have to be, in recovery. You may know someone who is in recovery, and I’m sure a lot of you do. But it goes so much further than that. Recovery is universal whether it’s from drugs and alcohol or just staying pure of mind, body, and soul. My wife used more than just me as a driving force to stay sober, she used past experiences, as we may learn the environment around us can shape and mold our attitudes towards certain beliefs and lifestyles as well. She just liked being 100% sober more than she did occasionally drinking, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just like when I like chocolate ice cream and you like vanilla; it’s just different. So my question to you is, “Why do you stay 100% sober?” and if not, “Should you?”
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