Okay, Okay. I’m Finally Sober… Now What Do I Do?

By Ben Spielberg

Three months ago to this day I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with my life. I had conceivably failed at everything I had tried—I was a barely passable musician, I couldn’t pick up girls, and my writing was insufferable. There was one thing I was really, really good at, though—I could do drugs. Out of my admittedly small social circle, I was the go-to guy when it came to buying, selling, or using drugs. I actually recall during a therapy session a few months before I got sober when I told my therapist I could have used drugs with the famous addicts—William S. Burroughs, Ken Kesey and Charles Mingus.

And then I entered treatment, and while I was technically sober at day one, my mind still had a lot of “sobering up” to do. I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually lost; I didn’t even know where to put my hands! Shortly after I came to the realization that even though there is an innate quality inside of me that tends to love drugs, there can also be a part of me that loves other parts of life in sobriety. I figured out that I love playing music and writing short pieces of prose. I still needed something to fill up my time, though. Instead of counting down the minutes smoking cigarettes, I tried everything I could to keep me sober. I went to meetings, I (attempted) to write screenplays, I meditated, I drank coffee and I helped out in the kitchen.

The point that I’m trying to get across is that when anybody is new in sobriety, it can be quite difficult to figure out what to do with yourself even for an hour of time. For the first 20 years of my life I was constantly judging things I had never tried—skydiving was stupid, meditation was for boring people, and surfing was for the “jocks.” Eventually, I realized I might as well try these things before I judge them, they might even be something that compelled me to consistently push forward rather than fall due to old behavior. If I had never gotten a haircut I’d still be dirty and if I never tried to write a blog then you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

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8 thoughts on “Okay, Okay. I’m Finally Sober… Now What Do I Do?

  1. First, if you are able, find a quiet area inside or out and go there. Get on your knees and ask God or Higher Power to please keep you sober today. That’s all. “God, please keep me sober today.”
    What does your sponsor say when you ask him what you should do? If you don’t have a sponsor, you need to get one now!
    What time does the next available meeting start? Suit up and get your ass to it, no excuses. Your ass depends on it!
    Get a notebook and a pen and write down 5 things you are grateful for. Now read the list 5 times out loud.
    Make sure you are in a safe place. The phrase for today is: Situational Awareness – be aware of your surroundings and inherent dangers that you may need to be far away from.
    Where are you in your step work? It makes little sense to get into a 12 step program and not work the steps. If you haven’t started on the steps, you need to get a 12 and 12 immediately and start by reading the first step.
    Do the next thing in front of you… and by the way: I’m a musician too. I know from experience that alcohol will take your art and make a joke out of it. Call me if you need to. Anytime…

    Clifton M.
    1.706.489.9010 cliftunes@ gmail.com

    1. Thanks Clifton. That list is very helpful.

  2. Congrats on being sober for 3 months. That is a miracle! I opened my mind up to a lot of new things when I got clean. I couldn’t ask for a better life. I have been doing the deal for over 4 years. Keep on keeping on. 🙂

    1. Daddy like!

  3. I’m now 10 years sober and am still asking that question. This talk about a live ‘beyond your wildest dreams’ eludes me. What happens when you don’t have a dream? What happens when you want to leave a relationship and in the process hurt someone to follow a dream you may get. I’m very confused!

  4. I am doing a medical detox at home from opiates. I have been clean 4 days. I very worried about what happens next. I cant imagine my life without my pills,
    I guess i will try AA. I am so stuborn i want to do it on my own. But i know the first time someone bugs me i will run to pills. There in my home because my husband has chronic pain. pretty hard when they are in the drawer next to your bed. YIKES

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