Do we truly need to get and stay sober? Do we really need to accept that we can never have another drink or another drug? Obviously, my answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
I chose 18 years ago to travel down the road of sobriety. I have attended thousands of meetings over that time period and have heard thousands of fellows share their stories.
From the stay-at-home mom who lost custody of her children to the man who killed his two daughters in a horrific car accident while driving drunk—each story has left its mark.
There’s an easier, softer way
Regardless of how one eventually says “Enough!” to their addiction, the pain in each story was real, valid, and serious. Either jail, institutionalization or death would have been the next logical step for many of these people. But each of them discovered that “there is an easier, softer way” (AA slogan).
While it is true that all who willingly decide to get clean are not guaranteed sobriety by these Twelve Step programs, I think AA/NA are probably our best bet. We learn about this disease, how it ruins our lives, and how to get to the other side.
A Success Story
One fellow whom I have known for several years went from being homeless and living in our town’s ‘Tent City’ to finding work and a home. He would tell you that he accomplished this through attending meetings.
He walked into a meeting 3 years ago and introduced himself as an alcoholic and addict in need of help. Tim (not his real name) was thin, unkempt, and delusional as he was under the influence of a powerful drug and a good deal of alcohol. That day, a wonderful gentleman took Tim to his home to shower, eat a meal and to talk.
Tim became a regular member at meetings and after detoxing at our local hospital, his progress was obvious. Still homeless, he would walk to a fast food establishment each day where he had found employment. Tim eventually saved enough money to rent a studio apartment.
Tim was a bright and personable guy, and it wasn’t too long before he was offered a managerial position.
I can recall the day that a group of us were outside enjoying lovely weather prior to the start of the meeting. A honking horn drew our attention to an unfamiliar car. After several more honks, Tim emerged and shouted out, “Eureka!” He was the proud owner of his first vehicle!
Tim always had a welcoming smile on his face when a newcomer would enter his/her first meeting. He worked the steps, had a sponsor, read the literature, prayed and attended meetings regularly.
Sobriety is at the core of recovery
Yes, Tim is the quintessential successful tale. And there are so many more. I’d like to think that if Tim continues to progress, his future is even brighter due to his decision to give sobriety a chance.
Tim knows that if he should drink or drug again he will likely fall backward into an even deeper cesspool than the one from which he emerged.
Tim must stay sober, as do I.
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”
– Abraham Lincoln