I’ve been taking a lot of time to reflect on the last 685 days of my sobriety, and as I near the two year mark I am seeing how far I have actually come. I don’t know about you, but major life changes make me reflect on where I am in my life and how I got there. The good thing about my reflections in the last nearly two years is that I am seeing the positive situations I have found myself in, instead of the old drunk Ronnie who ended up in very bad situations in life.

In the last near two years I have started my own small business, grown my personal passion of dog rescue work, rekindled an almost lost relationship, maintained a job I absolutely love (dog training) and built so many new relationships with so many people. I was being the real me, the Ronnie who wasn’t tied down by alcohol. My world has opened up exponentially and I have done things I never could have done while I was drinking.

On the verge of another major life change, the second cross country move in a year, I am reevaluating me and where I am and what I need to do to be an even better Ronnie when I start my third year of sobriety. In the last 685 days, I can honestly say I haven’t gone a single day without thinking about the drink. But, the way I handle it has changed. I reflect on how I overcame the last urge and how I could use that the next time.

Reflecting on what it has taken to get you to a point in your life, whether it be bad or good, will help you learn, grow and mold your future actions into ones that will help you grow stronger. I will make no illusions, the last two years of my life have been some of the hardest ones in my entire life. I had to consciously think about every single move I made in my life. Not like when I was drinking and just let everything happen around me. I really had to be involved in my life.

Sure, there are many things that I would have done differently if I would have known then what I know now, but that’s life, we learn from our mistakes and do it better the second time around. But, reflecting on what you have done does not mean you have to wallow in self-pity or regret decisions. Reflecting allows you to see the error of your ways and improve upon them. It also allows you to see
what you did right and the positive things that have happened in your life.

I am reminded of a scripture when I am reflecting on my life;

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Proverbs 14:8 (NIV)

By being self-aware, we are able to grow. By disregarding our life and our past, we are basically saying we don’t want to grow or learn from our mistakes. By being sober, we can clearly see our past, good and bad, and use it as a tool for our future. You can’t achieve this without reflecting on your past. This does not mean dwell and obsess over it, it simply means use what you have and what you know to be the better person you want to be. I have, and it has been working pretty well for me.

I see myself as a respectable person who has grown from his bad decisions in the past and used them to make better ones in the future.

Here is a lovely poem by Michelle Tetley about reflecting on your life:

Take time to stop today
Take time to stop a while
Reflect on how life changes
Then take the time to smile

Know that as the days go by
These things that challenge you
Will one day just be memories
Of times you have gone through

Look back now on yesterday
And all you have achieved
Recognize the strengths you’ve gained
The blessings you’ve received

One day in the future
You will think about today
You’ll see just how these challenges
Have helped you on your way

Michelle Tetley