You have to trudge the road of happy destiny (and it’s not an easy task)

At Suntra, we help so many people through their early days in recovery and we notice a few patterns. In the second month of sobriety when the person is now committed to recovery, they discover one thing:

Sobriety is boring.

During the time the person is drinking or using, it’s easy for the hours of the day to disappear. Time is slippery when you’re buzzed. In early sobriety, not only do they realize how much more time they have every day, they feel every minute.

As I work with a new clients, I don’t shy away from talking about the monotony of recovery. There were times that using was a lot of fun; we had wild, drug-fueled nights and it’s important to remember the “good times.”

But we have to acknowledge that the good times existed only at a time and place in our lives. Personally, I loved college. It was a good time, and it existed at a certain point in my life.

I look at my using the same way. It existed in my late 20s and early 30s. I decided I didn’t want that use to continue into my 40s and 50s, so I took the necessary actions to get sober and maintain long term recovery.

Longing for the Good Old Days

If I’m being honest, at times I wax wistfully for my good old party days, but I also don’t want to return to them. I had to close the door on my use, just like college. In a sense, I had to graduate and move on.

Continuing to use drugs in my life would be the equivalent of me staying at school forever; sure it would be fun, but it wouldn’t lead me where I want to go in life.

In AA, there is a saying, “we are trudging the road of happy destiny.” I love that word, trudge. There are a lot of aspects to life where I feel I’m trudging through. Hence, I don’t like cooking dinner or going to the grocery store, but I trudge through these tasks because they support my best life in recovery.

In the process of recovery, It’s important to both acknowledge the loss of using and that we now get to experience life in a new way. Entering into recovery, I made the conscious decision to show up for every moment of my life and keep the past in the past.

I know that anytime I’m comparing my daily activities to the “good old days,” I have to remind myself that those days existed then and they can’t exist now. Otherwise, I’m entering into a dangerous territory.

The Relationship With Daily Tasks

Some days, I’ll be unloading the dishwasher or folding laundry only to notice the monotony of recovery. In those moments, I remind myself that I GET TO do those tasks today. I Get to show up for others and be responsible. I get to contribute to the stability of my family. 

I don’t take out the trash and think, “using was better,” Instead, I’m grateful to know my family has never seen me use, and worse, if I did use, I’d risk burning down everything I’ve built up in my recovery.

Trudge Road Happy Destiny
Trudge Road Happy Destiny

It’s hard at times as I drive to Costco to not think back to how fun life used to be. Other times, my suburban, middle-class life feels unbelievable.

How did I, a hard partier, end up a middle-of-the-road dad? At home, I’m the one who takes the dog out, fixes the plumbing, and financially supports our family.

Even on the tough days, I’m honored I can handle all those things. I’m committed to my family and keeping that commitment means more to me than any drink or drug.

For people just getting used to the parts of sobriety that feel boring, I draw a parallel between using drugs and a ride in an amusement park. So, Just like a roller coaster, drugs have an exhilarating aspect, but we don’t go to the amusement park every day.

Consequently, we enjoy the ride and move on to the next thing. Our experience becomes a memory, not a way of life.


About Adam Banks

Adam Banks is a certified interventionist at Suntra Modern Recovery. After receiving an MBA from the University of Chicago, Adam built a company that was later acquired by United Health Care. His discipline and attention to detail comes from his former career as an airline pilot, holding an ATP, the FAA’s highest license.

Today, Adam is dedicated to helping others achieve long term sobriety. His work as an interventionist has guided executives, pilots, and physicians on paths to recovery. Adam brings families together through a loving and inclusive approach.

Adam recently co-authored Navigating Recovery Ground School: 12 Lessons to Help Families Navigate Recovery. In this lesson book Adam and John Roesch walk families through the entire intervention process. Suntra also offers a free video course for families considering hosting an intervention for a family member. 

Suntra Modern Recovery provides medical treatment for alcohol and opiate addictions via video visit with medical doctors. Treatment for alcohol, opiate and heroin addiction, including Suboxone treatment, can start today. Suntra’s alcohol and drug intervention services are available locally in New York, Long Island, the Hamptons as well as nationally and internationally.

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