January 2008 - well, here we all are another year deeper into the force field of recovery. It is a miracle that this recovery is still is a daily choice for me. On January 18, 2008 my celebration will be eighteen years of sobriety. What a glorious day this will be and I could not let this week go by without acknowledging this miracle.

That there is an article submission area that cares about recovery and those of us that choose recovery, is yet another miracle to me. The fact that we are able to be here for struggling people to learn from is wonderful. It is my prayer that there are viewers seeing that life can be great without having to be a substance abuser.

Making the change from being an addict using substances to make it through the day - to an addict using coping skills is an important transition. My first day believing I could live substance-free came to me in 1990. Not an easy transition, my recovery arrived after many relapses and head strong decisions to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results from those decisions.

The one thing that helped me most is knowing, really deep down inside myself knowing that the pain of using was worse than the gain of using. No matter what I did, usually if in the end my decisions included alcohol, the results were negative in one way or another.

Still today and especially this past year, my life has been so intense. There have been many events that arose, which brought about a mindset that had me return to that space and time where I had to decide to keep Making the Change. For me, it is a miracle that my mind, soul, body, and spirit realize that choosing a substance other than spiritual and/or natural ones is still not possible for me. It is clear to me that even if I were to smoke one cigarette, it would easily be a pack in one day. If the idea came that one drink would be acceptable and then the drink came next, I am certain it would truly be a 12-pack in one day. Even when dreams come to me about addiction, there is never one drink in front of me. Even in my dreams it's a bottle of Jack Daniels without a glass nearby. So the idea that I would do it different just isn't real for me.

One of the things tha kept me 'going back out' for so long was that I would get convinced that the alcohol was a problem, but I would not get the conviction that it was going to ruin my life. The process for me had to come to a point that to look at myself, was to see a lady without substances in it. Becoming free - Making the Change - changing from someone who had a stressful event and then turned to beer or wine to ease my pain to being a lady who had a stressful event and instead turned to prayer, meditation, or helping others.

Becoming comfortable with yourself as a non-using addict is very important. The good news is at eighteen years it is easier than it was at one year to stay sober. But the concept for me can never change. The concept is coping comes from within and through the help of a belief system that taking life one day at a time allows me to 'Make the Change' again and again and stay sober until my life here is complete.

This evening someone shared with me that their sister had passed away and was found in a position that it was clear she had been sitting and going through papers. Her death was a quiet one. There had not been a struggle, there had been no accident, no foul play, this dear soul simply was reading one minute and was a soul with a new journey the next moment. This got me to reflecting upon my life and my sobriety and well, it sounded like a nice way to leave; while reflecting changes made in the past. Those that know me would agree - me reading something to the last minute does sound attractive.

Take care everyone - for those out there still struggling with life as an addict, please know if you can finally become convicted that your pain is worse than your gain, you too will be able to reflect back more clearly upon this day... the day you decided about Making the Change to sobriety.

Author's Bio: 

As a publisher/writer/editor and family oriented business woman, VicToria Freudiger owns a publishing company www.entrywaypublishing.com and a marketing company www.entrywaymarketing.com and enjoys working with authors on as many genres as possible. Her companies, like her years as a sponsor to 34 women in recovery, has been able to provide her with in this 18th year, 34 writers as well.