Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

What I've learned after being sober 6 months

Yesterday marked the 6 month anniversary of me giving up alcohol. Yup, 6 months sober and it flew by. I simply can't believe that I've been serving with the Next Step family for that long, nor can I believe how much I've grown in that time period.


The last 6 months hasn't been easy. There have been more than one occasion where I really wanted an ice cold beer, but my family at Next Step made me strong, gave me something to shoot for, and showed me the way. I'm incredibly thankful for everything that so many people have done to help me along the way. Today's reflection are some of the things I've learned in the last six month.

- I never had a drinking problem, but I did have a coping problem. I can tell you that I used alcohol to take the "edge" off of things. When I was stressed, had a bad day, or just needed to slow down I used alcohol. When I removed alcohol from my life I realized that I needed to depend on God even more. 

- I tried several wrong coping tools before I found the right one. In the past 6 months I've tried to replace alcohol with some unhealthy things. Food is a great example of that. In the first couple of months I would graze like a cow in the pasture. I was still trying to find something to take the "edge" off of life. Today I realize that the edge is something that needs to be noticed, and when I'm really healthy God is what slows me down. Psalm 46:10 has become a daily part of my life, and I repeat it often.

- I will always be in recovery from something. More than anything I have realized that being in recovery means dying to self and letting God be the Lord of my life. Attempting (I still don't always get it right) to do this on a daily basis has caused me to grow closer to God in a way that I could have never imagined. 

This is a gift that I never expected from this journey. I am resolute in the fact that no matter where I go, or what I do I'm always going to be in recovery. Working a program of faith, function, and coping - one day at a time.

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