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Sober in Vegas

LAS VEGAS. The city of sin. A place that never sleeps, and is wetter than a pool in the middle of the ocean during hurricane season. The first destination for a bachelor or bachelorette party. The last place on earth you'd ever expect to see a sober person....or so you'd think!

My name is Kyle, and I have been sober for 484 days, 3 hours, and 57 min. But who's counting?! I just returned from a vacation at a very unlikely destination for someone who doesn't drink. LAS VEGAS. Did I mention that I don't gamble either? I gave it up this year, I used to have a serious problem. So are you shocked that I would be in a place that's littered with free drinks and gambling?!?! One guy I met in Vegas was. This the conversation we had while riding in an elevator:

GUY: "Hey!"

Me: "How's it goin?"

GUY: "Its goin. You having any luck?"

Me: "Well I don't I guess I am."

GUY: "Oh no. Well at least you can drink."

Me: "Actually I don't drink either."

GUY: "HA. Looks like you came to the wrong place buddy."

Short conversation, but right to the point. His message was clear....YOU DON"T BELONG HERE! Now when it comes to a place like Vegas....he makes some good points. It's probably not be the best place for someone who used to struggle with addiction to gambling or drinking. But how often do we communicate that same message to people who don't necessarily 'fit in' or 'go with the flow' in our own communities? How often do we communicate to people in our own cities that "YOU DON'T BELONG HERE?" There are so many times throughout our daily lives that we may send this negative and unwelcoming message to family or friends without realizing it. We do this when all of our parties, social gatherings, or community events are built upon a foundation of substances. How many times have we said with our actions that stimulation is first....and relationships are a close second? We are so busy trying to ease the uncomfortable nature of human interaction in our society, that we scramble to pour on as much social lubrication as we can and don't realize that some people can't swim....and some are even drowning. In that scenario, many people might say "well if you can't swim....don't go to the pool." May we always remember that it takes different strokes for different folks. And pools aren't just for people who want to swim....It's also for people who want to work on their summer tan....(Please stop with the pool analogy.)

{Shameless plug for the SOBERBARS POOL PARTY on July 16th! More details coming soon. Check out our FACEBOOK PAGE}

Back to Vegas. So the reason I went to Las Vegas is because I had family that was celebrating a big 40th birthday and an anniversary. Because my family is so spread out, we have to plan events far in advance and places that are in the middle. My family was very sensitive towards my past, and I am clear with them about my limitations and boundaries. On my road to recovery, God has brought me to a place where I am strong enough to resist certain temptations that I couldn't before. Now that doesn't mean I go looking for trouble or play with fire. But I am able to endure more than I could before, and I am so very thankful for that blessing. Obviously, not everyone in recovery is at the point or will reach a point where they can be around such temptations. Recovery looks different for all of us....but the important thing to note is that PEOPLE DO RECOVER! They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But what happens in our cities is up to us. Let's make sure we make room for everyone. LET'S CHANGE CULTURE!

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