Here are just a few ways I’ve noticed my recovery change as time has passed.
1. It becomes freeing rather than limiting. Five years ago, I viewed sobriety as something restrictive, something that was going to make my life smaller. I thought it would keep me from doing things like going out with friends, traveling, celebrating special occasions. I had no idea that over time, it would actually prove to be the opposite. Over the years, my sobriety has morphed into something that makes my life bigger. It allows me to take chances with confidence I’ve built, not confidence that comes from alcohol. It gives me the opportunity be fully present for every single moment, which is especially rewarding when it comes to traveling.
2. It fades from the foreground of your life. Maybe this isn’t the case for everyone, but for me it has been. Early on in sobriety, I thought about it all the time. I planned my days around treatment and 12-step meetings. I talked about recovery often, and about the milestones along the way. Now this isn’t really the case. It isn’t that these things aren’t still important to me, because they are. It’s just that they have become normal parts of life to an extent. Sometimes days can pass and I realize I haven’t even thought about the fact that I am sober. Today it’s just part of who I am at the core and that is something I have become comfortable with.
3. The motivating factors change and evolve.