Reflections of a Relapser, Now Two Years Sober (Again)
~Sara Suman, LMSW, SMART Recovery Volunteer
My second two year anniversary (I do like to passively count sober time) came and went last week. This isn’t my first rodeo either. This is my second time achieving two years sober, and my third time achieving one year+. My first few (real) attempts were in the rooms of 12-step programs. This time it was me — with the support of SMART Recovery Online.
My first set of two years and the second set were separated by three or four lapses. My frustration with those lapses led me to google “non-12-step based recovery,” which is how I found SMART. Did SMART get me sober? No. I got myself sober. SMART helped me identify my SELF as the key to sustained sobriety. I remember the first time I went to one of JVB’s meetings and I said something along the lines of, “why can’t I just stop?” And he said something along the lines of, “well, you can.” It was one of those life clarifying moments. I was on my own with this. SMART was here to support me, but getting clean and sober was on me. There’s no Mommy and Daddy here. I realized that if I really wanted to stop for good — then I could, but JVB wasn’t going to do it for me, nor was anyone else.
My thinking about drinking
What SMART helped me understand, through the CBA* and the ABCs* and USA*, is that my lapses over the past five years had more to do with the parts of me that still really wanted to drink. My lapses were not a reflection of incapability or inability to stop. It wasn’t that I couldn’t stop, Read more »