For myself commitment has always been a very difficult thing for me. In my active addiction and before I was in active addiction, I could never commit or follow through with anything. I would be motivated at first and start something, but could never finish it. When I first came to rehab, it was very hard for me to commit to staying in treatment long term and commit to staying sober. I would go into treatment, and slide by without putting in the work just to please my parents and family. It was very hard to understand and conceptualize the concept of AA meetings and realizing that I had to stay clean from all mood and mind altering substances and I had to commit to that in order to stay sober. At first, I thought that everyone was crazy and that I was different and I could drink alcohol and smoke weed because my problem was with drugs. I soon found out that wasn’t the case, I was just like everyone else and I had a problem with all mood and mind altering substances. The concept of committing was still very foreign to me; it took a very long time to realize that I was no different from any other addict and that until I fully committed to staying sober, and working on myself I could not stay clean. Today, when I think of commitment I think of being impeccable with my word, when I make a commitment I need to follow through with it and do what I say I am going to do because if I don’t I can slip back into old behaviors and possibly relapse. In my eyes, commitment is a very crucial part of recovery and being able to stay clean and sober, until I can fully commit to being sober I can’t stay clean.
I have recently found myself wanting a life I don’t currently have. I want a life where I am sober, happy, and have strong bonds with my family. Always trying to take the easy way out has left me with nothing and always wanting more. Its true what they say though, nothing in life worth having comes easy and without making sacrifices and commitments. I am going to have to continue to make drastic changes to the way I think and the way I act. I need to continue to take constructive criticism and advice from others. This all seems like a lot of work but I know deep down that to be truly happy, no commitment seems to big to overcome.
Its not easy making any kind of commitment in life, at least for me. I think it stems from my childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. I came from an abusive family that made it almost impossible for me to commit to trusting anyone. During my teenage years, I started to use drugs and alcohol and hang out with dangerous people and those are the people I got used to being around. When positive people would present themselves in my life I would not commit myself to starting a relationship with them. Finally, in my early 20’s, I got into a relationship that ended very badly and that made it difficult to believe that I could love anyone. I see now that all of this lack of commitment to anything was only hurting myself. People would often try and offer help but I would turn the other direction. I thought, wrongly, that the only people I could trust were addicts and unhealthy people because they shared the same interests as me, which was doing drug and not caring about anyone or anything, including myself.
This time around I have made a commitment to myself and that commitment is to fix my life. After I made that commitment, Salina, SOCD, and my Father all came along so I was supported while I work to achieve my goal. I finally got myself to SOCD where I feel more at home than any other place in this world. I let my walls down and let people in and allowed them to help me. Trust and security finally came to me! In recovery, I’ve learned that commitments need to be made in order to gain serenity. I realized that I needed to commit myself to working the steps and getting sponsor. Sometimes life gets tough but I cant and won’t let that stop me. Remember, if you are following through with a commitment to better yourself, you must stick with it, even through the most difficult of times.
Envisioning what my ideal life looks like has led me to take commitment much more seriously than I ever have. I know that in order to accomplish my hopes and dreams I have to lay down a blueprint and take the necessary steps to achieve my end goal of gaining independence, respect, stability, self-worth and healthy relationships. I’ve come to accept that I have to disregard the notion of immediate gratification and remember that nothing worth having comes easy. With great courage and perseverance, I know I wont falter or fail. Staying committed is a daily practice and one in which progress is measurable. Although to the detriment of my aspirations, I have wallowed in self-pity times prior because I thought I was getting too late of a start in life. Today, however, I recognize that without persistence and setting short-term goals to meet, I know I’ll never see my dreams come true. I keep telling myself that I have to start somewhere and so the time is now. While pondering the significance of commitment and as a constant reminder to help recall my purpose, I view my vision as a lighthouse that guides me and gives reassurance that that vision is attainable if I stay on course.
Making a commitment is one of the hardest things for me to do, especially as an addict who is used to instant gratification. To make the commitment to live a clean and sober life means to work hard everyday and to learn how to cope with life on life’s terms. Keeping a commitment is a constant thing that takes persistence and routine for me. It may feel stressful and there can be times when I feel like giving up, but at the end of the day, making the commitment to remain sober only brings me closer to learning who I really am. Sobriety also brings me closer to my family and most importantly, brings me closer to my daughter. It is important that I make an honest commitment to myself because without applying honesty to my commitment, I wont be able to grow. Fellowshipping, getting a sponsor, and working the steps are also ways that I am going to commit to in order to help me grow. One day I know I will be able to earn my sobriety, be there for my daughter, and hopefully help another individual the way I have been shown help.