A Busy Sober October

Hello sober family!  It’s been a bit since my last post, and I have admittedly been crazy busy and not making time to write.  I wanted to post an update of several things I have in the works for the month of October that I am really excited about.

First, I have begun classes for the first time in 14 years, working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Addictions Counseling from Indiana Wesleyan University.  Just getting started but I am super excited to be starting this journey towards my degree and career change into a field that has had such an impact on me.  My inspiration for making this choice is two-fold.  First, through my recovery, I have found that I have a passion for learning about the psychology behind addiction and how to best help others recover for it.  Second, I have a great counselor and have seen first-hand how much of an impact a substance abuse counselor can have on one’s recovery.  So I have the interest and inspiration, plus, it just seems to naturally align with my personality and who I am.  I have never been so sure that I’m making the right move and heading in the right direction as I am about this change.  And quite a career change it is, as I have been in the web development industry for the past 17 years.  I just found that I don’t have the interest and drive for web development and to be sitting in front of a computer all day anymore.  Granted, there’s still quite a bit of computer work required in being a counselor, but at least I’ll get to interact with others face-to-face and have the chance to make a direct impact.  I can’t express how excited I am to be on this path!

Another bit of exciting news for this month is that on October 17th I will be joining Annie Grace to record an episode of the This Naked Mind Podcast.  Annie is the author of the book This Naked Mind which I have talked about on here several times.  The book is my favorite on the subject of how to stop drinking.  It is the first thing I recommend that anyone who is even slightly questioning their relationship with alcohol read.  Annie’s approach is what I call the intelligent way to stop drinking.  She uses scientific research and data to dispel the many myths we have about the benefits of alcohol.  This is designed to change your unconscious mind, the part of the brain that is making decisions based on what it believes to be true.  It’s great stuff.  So I will be joining Annie to share my personal story and talk about how her book changed my views on alcohol and has been an important part of my recovery.  And I’ll also be promoting a couple of my recovery-related projects.

The 17th will also mark exactly nine months of sobriety for me.  It’s both somewhat hard to believe that it has been nine months already and seems like it’s been forever at the same time.  Since I’m active in so many recovery-related activities, I think about recovery daily, but I do not think about drinking every day, if that makes sense.  I have been blessed to not crave a drink, and I do not take it for granted as I regularly see posts in my recovery groups from people who have been sober for longer than I have but still deal with a desire to drink.  I attribute that to a combination of the monthly Vivitrol injection that I receive and to the holistic approach to recovery that I’ve adopted.  I’m often curious just how much the Vivitrol has to do with it, but I also don’t believe it’s worth the risk of finding out.  Either way, I couldn’t be more proud and grateful to be where I am at in my recovery.

Then, comes an opportunity that I am beyond excited about.  I will be attending the Mindful Recovery Symposium in Statesville, NC on October 26th.  This symposium on mindfulness in recovery is organized by my friend Erin at Enlighten Recovery and will feature speakers such as Amy Dresner (author of My Fair Junkie), Sean Paul Mahoney (Seanologues blog) and Nathaniel Hodder-Shipp (Breathwork for Recovery).  It’s an all-day event, and I expect it to be a great networking opportunity as it will be my first major recovery event that I attend.  I’m viewing it as a treat/reward to myself for nine months of sobriety.  The drive from Indiana to North Carolina in late October will be absolutely beautiful, and it’ll be a nice escape from the monotony of life.  Also, the deciding factor for me to attend was that I had been named an honoree for the Recovery Ally & Champions Award to be presented at the symposium.  I’m super honored to be recognized, and I’m looking forward to meeting some of the other honorees and winners of the award!

Whew!  That’s a good month full of recovery-related events!  I cannot wait to be a part of all of it and to see what comes out of it all.  You know I will be working hard all month to promote recovery from addiction and to represent everyone who is making an attempt at it in the best possible way that I can.  Thank you all for your support and please reach out to me if you would like to help in any way.

Love Y’all!
Mike