I was out to dinner with my friend Tall Girl on my two year sober anniversary, and she gave me a fancy, designer two year chip and said, “This is an important milestone in your recovery, because after two years of sobriety, your brain is finally coming back to normal.”
There are those who would say nothing about me is normal, but I really liked the shiny red and black chip and the trout was delicious… Tall Girl is also one of those people who makes a simple statement that gets me thinking. Eventually, what comes out of her mouth goes onto my blog (with a few of my flowery observations thrown in for emphasis).
I am in “Advanced Recovery.” Yippee. That is what two years and more of sober living is called. It doesn’t mean I am cured, just that doing the things that keep me sober have become second nature, and I no longer smell the cap of the tequila jug and drool (very often)…
The 8 Characteristics of Advanced Recovery are:
- Cravings for booze are rare;
- The focus changes from staying sober to building a good life;
- There is a degree of confidence in the process;
- The lingering effects of P.A.W.S. have disappeared;
- It is easier to cope with stress;
- Personal goals, work and hobbies come to the forefront;
- Character flaws are addressed (yikes);
- The ability to help others and have a positive impact is realized.
I really intended to let my two year sober anniversary come and go without fanfare. But Advanced Recovery is something to crow about. It is something to be proud of and I want to thank everyone (phone calls, dinner invites, gifts, emails and comments) who wouldn’t let me forget to celebrate my good fortune.