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Reaping the benfits of sober living

california pardon
by nadav

Article by Robert Pardon

Most everyone has heard the adage “You reap what you sow”. Nothing could be truer when you are talking about the life of a practicing alcoholic or drug addict. This has been my experience and the thousands I have met and counseled in my 21 plus years of sobriety. The biggest problem is that in the midst of the disease we don’t view it that way because it is always someone, something or someplace that has caused the “reaping” it is never what we “sowed”.

But the reality is, and we begin to first learn this in the early stages of recovery, that it is always my actions that causes the reactions that I get from life and others. The great news for each and everyone one of us is that what was true in the madness of the addiction is also true in the process of our recovery. In other words, reaping and sowing are part of my life regardless of my current condition.

One of the very first things that AA and my sponsor taught me was that I created my own misery. Just about the time that truth got me thoroughly depressed they also told me that if what I had done created the mess I was in then living sober from this point forward would create something completely different. They told me that if garbage in garbage out was true then so is sober living in then sober results was equally as true.

My good buddy, Slow Will, told me “to clear away the wreckage of the present, so it didn’t become the wreckage of the past”. So live right and clean up after yourself became my goal and it worked. Little by little I began to see life through “another set of glasses” and I liked what I saw.

I said all of that to tell you this; I had a weekend that people like you and me could have only dreamt about. Please remember that I am a recovered alcoholic/addict who walked out on his wife and 2 children in 1981. I got sober in 1986 and I have spent the last 21 years learning the way of sober living. Since then I have been remarried for 18 years and have 2 teenagers.

This last weekend though was the tops. My oldest daughter, who I walked down the aisle at her wedding, had a baby and that makes me a grandpa. My youngest daughter graduated from high school in May and is looking to go to college next year. My youngest daughter asked me, not her mom, if I would take her for a 3 day college visit at this college in California and of course I was thrilled that she would want to spend that time with me. Her and her mom get along great, but she wanted me to go.

Well, on the way home we had to pass through the town where my oldest daughter lives and of course I had to visit my 3 week old grandson. When we got to the house my brother, sister-in-law and my mom were just leaving to go back home to California, but we got to say hello for a moment. My ex-wife and her husband were there as well as my son-in-law’s parents and my other daughter. Are you getting the picture here?

We had a wonderful visit we had and what a joy it was to hold my grandson. It was even more wonderful to hug and kiss the girls I left so many years ago. I got to rejoice with my ex-wife in the wonder of our grandson and the gift that only can come from God. Before I left I handed my grandson over to my daughter’s step-dad and expressed to him my love for the great job he has done with OUR girls.

My youngest daughter and I then headed for a 6-hour drive home and all was well. We enjoyed wonderful fellowship and all the Michael Buble and Josh Groban anyone would want. I wold not trade what I have now for anything in the world.

This is just a small example of what has occurred in my life since I decided I did not want to die. I got so tried of reaping what I had sowed and I was given a better way to live. Now, I thank God for every day I am given and the opportunity to reap something more wonderful as I continue to learn a better way to sow.

About the Author

Robert Pardon is founder of becomingwellnow.com, a website that offers recovery information and solutions for alcohol and drug addiction.

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