By Jeffrey Wincott
On May 9th I will be celebrating 19 years of sobriety.
How did I do it? I did it with the generous help of so many that came before me and were of service to me by giving their time and experience. I am now helping others that WANT to get sober by sharing my own experiences, strength, and hope by talking one on one, being open and honest on social media, and by sharing what I have learned through newsletters like this. Hopefully it will plant a seed.
By talking about sobriety freely, you have the capacity to start a conversation about addiction. It allows others to feel comfortable opening up about how addiction affects them or someone they know. Being honest is contagious and can help you form common bonds with others immediately. Sometimes giving your phone number to someone who wants to stop using or drinking can be a lifeline. This is being of service–being willing to be around for others when the going gets tough.
It's really hard to stop using or drinking. For a long time that's the only way I knew how to fix my problems but that “solution” is flawed because it leads to bigger problems. Now I use the 12 steps and the fellowship in the rooms as my solution. The more I focus on the problem, the bigger the problem gets and so now I try to focus on the solution. There is a way out. That way out is by being of service and doing the next right thing. Take a newcomer to coffee after meetings or pick up the phone and call someone and ask them how they are doing. Do something that will make someone’s life a little easier. Talk to people. It’s harder during the pandemic but it’s still possible and the pandemic will not last forever. The phone is your friend – use it.
Keep it simple. That’s the key. We focus on today and today only. Today we will not drink or use drugs. Repeat the same mantra tomorrow.
If you want it, there is a way out. Be of service. One day at a time.
Jeffrey Wincott is a Canadian actor and martial artist best known for his lead role in the television series Night Heat. Wincott was also the star of several martial arts films in the 1990s.