Throughout my journey with alcohol, the decisions I have made, and the consequences that have manifested due to those decisions, have affected me tremendously. They have also affected a variety of individuals in my life. For that reason, I believe it is important for them and me that I do what I said I was going to do and remain sober.
My integrity is also at stake in this instance. The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides three definitions for the word integrity; they are a firm adherence to a code of especially moral values, an unimpaired condition, and the quality or state of being complete or undivided. From a psychological perspective, Erikson’s theory of adulthood asserts that a person achieves integrity when they have established a complete sense or feeling that their life has been meaningful and worthwhile and includes the ability to look back on their life and not dwell on mistakes, or feelings of regret. The alternative to this, according to Erikson’s theory, is despair. Despair is defined as an utter loss of hope.
Strictly from reading the definitions, I am confident that a life of integrity would be more fulfilling than a life of despair. With that being said, I am also confident that it would be tremendously difficult to maintain integrity in active addiction. In active addiction, we are already starting off with a disadvantage because we will often times be impaired, and at this point, many of our decisions will be far from unimpaired. These decisions will likely lead to divisions in our ability to make morally sound decisions as well. In the end, it is hard to imagine that we will look back at life without dwelling on any feelings of regret. In fact, it is much easier to imagine despair and a loss of hope.
By remaining sober, you can keep your word and, in so doing, build a life of integrity. You can one day look back on life without having to dwell on mistakes or feelings of regret. Today you can avoid despair! In conclusion, for the day I would like to leave you with a poem I have entitled Intrigued by Integrity:
You want it? Go get it! I’m not finished! Still things left to prove, and not to you! I didn’t leave it all out there; now I will; no matter what, I don’t care! After all the hard work I put in, not to try would be a sin! Many think I will not succeed, and to my anguish, it will lead. To them, I say this: I will never quit, no matter what the obstacle, I will push through it! I’ve faced ambiguity before, through that, I soar! I thrive on people’s doubt of me, any other way I would not have it be! I know the odds are against me, but I don’t care, can’t you see?! If not, then you will, in me there lingers a destiny to fill! I won’t let myself down; not this time… Just wait, victory will be mine!