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Whatever You Do, Don’t Work at Recovery….

July 2017
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I often find it humorous, reading the posts of newly recovering alcoholics and addicts.  Not because of the naivety (we all come in with that!), but because it reminds me of my state of mind when I sobered up.  To say I was naive would be a compliment.  I wanted to quit drinking on my terms.

I can remember struggling with the Fourth Step (actually I was struggling with the Fifth, just before I got to it, a common problem) and I shared this at a meeting or 20.  I received quite a bit of feedback and a lot of suggestions on how to move forward.  Some was constructive, some was a little ham-handed, but as long as I kept my ego and my “BS feeling” out of it, most was useable.  As a sidenote, “BS feeling” is singular on purpose.  It’s only one feeling in the whole realm of feelings, and I make sure the BS feeling only gets a seat at the kiddy table…. just wanted to be clear.

I read a post recently in which the author wrote they’d been struggling with cravings but refused to take a sponsor or work the steps.  Now, they didn’t put it quite so simply, but that’s how it read when you boiled it down.

The AA program, as big a pain in the ass as it can be, actually works.  Millions have recovered from a seemingly impossible disease just by working some meetings and steps into their lives….  Give that treatment plan to someone with cancer and tell them they’re guaranteed to recover if they follow the plan and I’ll show you a step working, meeting going nut – and a line out the door at every meeting.

So, you want to sober up but you don’t want to do what is necessary to actually sober up?

This is not the part where I whoop ass and label somebody or their activity “stupid” (because to do so would slap the label on me too, all of us really).  “I don’t want to” is a natural, almost universal response amongst noobs to sobriety.  It’s a rare day for a noob, especially a young (<50) noob, to view alcoholism as life and death right out of the gate.

Look at it this way;  All you have to do is quit doing something that is near impossible to quit alone, learn to lead a productive life, and actually be happy, all at the same time and with the same thinking you used to land us in a seat at a freaking AA meeting in the first place.  That shouldn’t be too tough, right?

I am being facetious, of course.  This is why the 12 Steps are the easier, softer way to recover.  I’d either be three sheets to the wind or drier than a popcorn fart if I tried to recover like that!

Actually, that’s not true.  I would be dead.  That’s not playing with words or over-dramatizing my state all those years ago.  There was a zero percent chance of me making it to 45 years-old if I hadn’t chosen recovery.  Doctors had me pegged at 30, maybe 35 max, based on my liver enzyme readings a year before I put the plug in the jug.  Mull that for a second.  I was told at 21 years-old that I’d be dead at 30 and I still drank for another year before I quit.  You can’t fix that level of “messed up” with hopes, dreams and aspirations.  Logic certainly won’t cut through that haze and I’d used reason up long before.

It takes work to break that mountain down.  Delay as long as you like.  I’m sure you’re the exception, not the rule, anyway.  Sure, you’re the smart one and the rest of us are all just hick rubes!  

Good luck with that.  I’ll opt for the easiest, softest way to win.

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3 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your continued recovery!

  2. This is such great insight. My brother has been sober two years in June. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was writing your post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You never know who might be listening. ❤️

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