Recently, a friend asked me, “how long have you been sober?” Until that moment, I’d lost track of my clean time. Only after a brief pause was I able to calculate and answer, “two and a half years.”

Addicts choose sobriety and recovery for a variety of reasons. These reasons are a common subject of conversation for my wife and me. Besides the standard justifications, such as keeping my Wife, Kids, Home, Job, Health, and Freedom, I have a few other sober priorities.

This may sound like overconfidence, but I’ve discovered that it’s easy to remain clean and sober when I love being clean and sober. I have no desire to alter my clear and functional brain with drugs or alcohol. Don’t misunderstand; working in a recovery program doesn’t end with achieving a few years of clean time. I will spend the remainder of my life working diligently to keep the addiction demons away.

For those of you who have read some of my work in the past, you may be familiar with my previous challenges. Nearly one year after graduating from an intense court-ordered outpatient drug rehabilitation program, I’m still doing what I like to refer to as [regular grown-up shit]. During my two years of probation, more than one of my peers asked me why my transformation from hardcore drug user to what seemed like a man on a mission appeared to be so damn easy. Well, even though the path was incredibly arduous, I enjoyed every step. Think of it as being paid an excellent salary for enjoying a career that you love.

The human brain is an incredibly mysterious and powerful tool. Like the rest of the human body, our brains will not function properly if poisoned. I choose power over poison.

Joseph Shanklin

August 15, 2021

3 thoughts on “Sober Is Power

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