10 Things I’ve Learned from Being Sober 10+ Years

Hey guys, welcome to the channel, I want to talk about 10 things that I’ve learned, the most important things I’ve learned in 10 years of sobriety. I actually have 13 years of sobriety. 

So, I want to just bring up the best points of sobriety because a lot of people are searching for meaning in sobriety and a lot of people are lost and many people are dying from drug addiction and alcoholism every single day.

They just don’t realize how beautiful life can be. I know because I was a drunk. Life was absolutely miserable. I had tunnel vision, I couldn’t see things, I couldn’t see the beauty in life, and I didn’t love myself, and I didn’t love others. 

I was gonna die. People were telling me I was gonna die within a year. It was a complete mess, and I’m just grateful every single day that I’m here so I want to talk about the 10 things that I’ve learned in 10 plus years of sobriety. 

Number Ten: My joy came back 

I was able to laugh again. I was able to smile. I was able to look people in the eyes, because before when I was using and drinking I couldn’t look people in the eyes because I had so much guilt and shame. 

I didn’t feel like I was worth anything. So I just looked at the ground when people talked to me. I definitely didn’t smile or laugh during my bad years of alcohol. 

Everything was just kind of a nightmare, and I cried every other day, towards the end of my drinking I was depressed, I just hung out in a dark room. 

I even created an imaginary friend that was a bumblebee. I called her Mrs Bumble and she would look out at me from the closet with these big innocent eyes and it made me cry. I created that just out of my desperate loneliness and things were really bad.

So, the first thing I noticed when I got sober was the joy came back, I had light in my eyes, I could look people in the eyes, and I could actually laugh like a true heartfelt laugh, and that’s the best feeling in the world. 

Number Nine: I felt all my senses come back 

I was in complete reality. I could smell the air. I could see clearly, because when I was drunk, I stopped eating the last year of my drinking. I stopped eating food because I didn’t want it to ruin my buzz. That’s how bad it was. That’s how delusional I was. 

So the first thing I saw when I got sober for a little bit was, I could smell the air again, I could see clear. I could feel things, you know, it’s like my feelings started to come back and many of us take our feelings for granted. 

We don’t even think about our senses and our feelings, but to me it was almost like an overload. When I got sober, it all came back, and life seemed like it was in absolute color, beautiful colors. 

Number Eight: life has its own pace 

When I was an alcoholic drunk, I was very impatient, and I wanted things done quickly, instantly, and I always but my head up against the pace of life, and you can’t control the pace of life, it just happens, whether you like it or not and I accepted life’s pace that is number eight. 

Number Seven: I realized that it felt better, giving to people instead of taking

The value of giving, came to the forefront of my sobriety. I didn’t really understand how good it felt to give. In fact, I hated people that gave a lot. I thought that they were wasting their time, or that they stretched their time too thin by helping others all day long, because I was so impatient, and I was seeking just for myself that I was like I’m not gonna waste any time with anyone. 

Therefore I didn’t have any friends, and I was just looking to fix my addiction, looking for a beer, looking for drugs, using people for my drugs, and it just kept getting me. You know, I was always frustrated with the pace of life. 

Number Six: Life is really precious

Like I said, I’m very grateful to be alive because when I was 32 I had a heart attack and that didn’t stop me from drinking I kept drinking heavier after that. 

It wasn’t until I was 36 that I actually got sober, and when I got sober, I had a couple friends and they died in their 40s, and this is the first time in my life really that friends have died. 

I know that a lot of people die in their addiction and alcoholism. I didn’t really hang out with people that died from those things. I’m just talking about my childhood friends that were starting to die. 

Once I got sober that really hit home. I’d never been to a funeral before, I mean I was just very naive when it came to death. And so when people started dying in my early sobriety I was just like wow, you know, I’m 48 years old. I survived a heart attack. 

I survived being a total alcoholic for 16 years. And, you know, life is precious. All I can say is, I say this in a lot of my videos. Life is a trip, and I’ll keep saying that because every day I’m just overwhelmed and blown away by the beauty of this life, but life is short. 

Number Five: I came to love others 

I discovered I have a heart. I have feelings, I have compassion, I have empathy – and those were stifled when I was an alcoholic. 

I was in fight or flight most of my life. My childhood was great but my dad was scary. He had a scary temper. 

So I was in constant fight or flight, not realizing when his next outbreak would be or, you know, just the bullies at school picked on me, teachers picked on me. It seemed like the whole world was against me, and 

I realized that when I got sober, it didn’t matter what happened, you know, I had a heart, and I cared about others and it was okay to cry if other people cry. I was starting to relate to others more than ever, instead of being a self centered drunk. 

Number Four: I can sense my mortality 

There’s many chapters to this life and sobriety is just one new chapter. And, we’ve had many chapters in this life and I didn’t think I was going to survive, to see this chapter of sobriety and to experience life. 

I really understand (now) that I will be dying soon, and in my 20s, when I was a drunk, I could care less about life.

I was just abusing myself and others and drinking enough to kill myself using drugs and alcohol, and just thinking I was immortal. 

I didn’t think about the consequences. I didn’t think about my future. I didn’t care about anything. 

Now, in reality, in sobriety, I sense my mortality and I want to make this life count. I really want to start giving back and providing people with insight and tips on how to get sober – how to find God. 

Whatever it is, this life is too short, and I really sense my mortality now. 

I feel like I have to work double time to catch up to all the stuff that I missed in my earlier years. 

Number Three: I forgave others 

Most of my life I’ve been a victim. I always felt like people picked on me. I felt like I got the short end of the stick, and I held grudges for years. I always had resentment and regret. I just let those things fill me. 

They made me angry, but it ate me alive. I gave my dad a silent treatment when I was 16 to 18. I was living under his roof, but I still gave him a silent treatment because I didn’t like how he was doing things, and I wanted him to just leave me alone. 

But it ended up hurting me more than him. And I did that with girlfriends in the past. The only weapon I had growing up was withholding love so I just carried that into my adulthood. 

I just harbored resentment and regret and grudges for years, while they’re getting on with their life, I was sitting in a dark room thinking how can I get these people back for hurting me? And I held those grudges for way too long. 

Number Two: connected to the Holy Spirit 

The Holy Spirit came in one day in 2016 and it flooded me with this ultimate love that I’ve never experienced before. And it just washed me clean and I had no more guilt, no more shame, no more regret.

It was like this fatherly love I’ve never experienced on earth – 1000 times greater than any father’s love – and I bawled my eyes out for five hours. 

The Holy Spirit came in while I was listening to a Christian rock song, and I just bawled my eyes out. Then, another time I think I met my guardian angel in a dream, because you can connect to the spiritual world through dreams, and I think I actually met my guardian angel, and he gave me a hug. 

When I woke up from that dream I cried for a few hours as well because it was a type of Brotherly Love. I never had a brother growing up and it was like an older brother that I never had, and his love was so tremendous that I bawled my eyes out. 

There’s been many times where I’ve connected to the supernatural when I got sober, and my mom has had a lot of experiences as well with the supernatural. So I believe that I opened up that realm when I got sober and I could actually feel things more. 

Just being grateful to be alive every single day, that gratitude really carries over, and I believe that guardian angel actually saved me many many times, you know, I drank and drove so many times – hundreds of times. 

I was blacked out every night, falling down drunk, wetting my bed every night, vomiting in the morning, couldn’t hold down my morning beer, stopped eating.

I mean I was literally dying, you know, passing out while standing up because there were no nutrients in my brain. 

So, I really connected with the Holy Spirit and actually connecting with Jesus and God again was a lifesaver, and it just made my life so much more rich. 

Number One: I forgave myself 

I’m still working on that today, but I had a lot of guilt and shame for what I did.

When I was 14, I robbed my neighbor’s house and I destroyed my family for many years. I was on strict restriction, I had to come home straight after school and couldn’t play with my friends and my dad was just so angry at me and my mom just would look at me and start crying. 

I felt like I let them down. I was already a highly sensitive boy, but when I did that to show off to my friends in school by robbing a house, it really hurt my family, and I’m still making amends to my parents today, even though they forgave me decades ago.

I still have to forgive myself for being the town drunk and for all the dark evil things I’ve done, and like I said, I hold a lot of grudges against others, but I really held the biggest grudge against myself and I’m finally learning to forgive myself. 

We all make mistakes, and God has forgiven me and that’s number one. So, life has gotten a lot richer in sobriety. When I was drinking it just was very shallow and two dimensional and it was low vibration.

There was just a lot of evil, a lot of foul smelling things in my life. I didn’t shower. I was perverted, I was a creep, you know I was a creeper. And I actually fed off of that dark energy when I was drinking. 

They call it demon alcohol for a reason. It makes you attracted to the dark side. Even my music very hardcore heavy metal, you know, very hateful and sinful. 

When I got sober, everything lightened up, everything got wider and love came in, and the Holy Spirit came in and connections improved and senses improved, and it was a new life, literally.

I was born again, out of this demonic alcoholic stupor came my life back better than ever because I’m more grateful than I ever was. I got the life whipped out of me. I got the cockiness whipped out of me. I got the arrogance and the pride and all the other deadly sins knocked out of me. 

There’s nothing I want to do more today than to leave a positive impact on this world, and inspire others to stay sober.

Because every single day it gets better and deeper and more loving and all these things that we’re supposed to feel that we deny or we lose sight of when we’re drinking and using.

But it all comes back in a beautiful colorful rainbow of just beautiful emotions and I know I’m getting gushy here, but it’s really true. Life is short. Life is so short and I’m almost 50 years old and I feel like this is just a brand new beginning. 

There’s so much I can do, and spread the word of God, and help others, inspire others and try to think about others before I think about myself. 

So those are the 10 things I’ve learned from being sober, 10 plus years, I hope you liked this, Hit the subscribe button, And we’ll see you soon. 

Sincerely,

Erik C Johnson

My Asperger’s and Addiction Testimony

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