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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Baby Steps

"We have an ‘instinct to walk’ from the moment we are born: if about 70-80% of our weight is supported, we can instinctively ‘walk’ as our feet come into contact with a horizontal surface. This ‘stepping reflex’ is hardwired in our neural circuitry"

Dr Nadia Dominici’s


Human development is not our area of expertise—actually, we have no area. We speculate on what we don’t fully understand. We produce output based on our input. We can't tell anybody, with any certainty, why a child walks versus crawls or why an adult drinks casually or excessively. 

We can tell you that we are learning more about our own development and share what we hear. As we have chosen to surround ourselves with those in pursuit of purpose and peace, we believe there is a lot to be said for capturing learning lessons as they present. That is why we podcast and write.

The topic of emotional sobriety was recently discussed in our company. Though a blog post won't cover the concept's complexities, we felt some takeaways were worth sharing.

Assuming Doctor Domenici is correct in that a child is wired to walk, we assume Bill Wilson, the founder of alcoholics anonymous, was correct when he called emotional sobriety the last frontier.

For us, real healing showed itself in physical improvement and emotional growth.  To ensure we were getting to the root of the hurt, we had to dig through layers of pain.  This process was ugly and painful.  Eventually, we drew closer to a new and important form of maturity.  We were walking.  We were sober.

And though today we can’t recall the discomfort we felt each time we fell as toddlers; the distress was captured on a Super8 and documented in our brain space. The result was that we learned to walk, and that brought us closer to our desired place in life. 

Here is where we catch up with ourselves.  There comes a time when the toddler brain rekindles a relationship with the sober brain and collectively asks: What’s the next frontier? 

Why do we have legs, and where do we want to go? And how can I avoid the ache of rejection and unmet expectations?

As we are learning, emotional sobriety is a planned progression. It starts with acceptance, then involves a lot of self-understanding in the middle, and finally, it consists of living through the impossible. 

There are many online and offline definitions, concepts, and teachings on the subject. Allen Berger, Ph. D., is widely acknowledged in the sober community as someone who has taken to heart and penned a path to the freedom found in healing from within.

We have learned from the good Doctor that we may not achieve complete maturity in our lifetime, but life is better for the trying. 

We are still messy.  We are still staggering.  We still fall.  We still dig into new pains and attempt to heal from the root.  We are still working on self-acceptance.  We are beginning to think less of our importance beyond our capacity to serve.  We care less about what others think and more about our desired next steps. 

We only spend time in the past out of necessity as simple discovery and forgiveness.  We spend most of our time in the present, capitalizing on the opportunity of the moment.  It is in this place that our last breath could be taken.  Yes, it could be our last frontier.  We try and make the most of each breath.

Continued advancement was our instinctive goal as a toddler, and it remains strong in us today.  Each past fall has brought us efficiency  - each pain, a pleasure. 

Baby steps.


“Thus, I think it can work out with emotional sobriety. If we examine every disturbance, great or small, we will find some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand at the root. Let us, with God’s help, continually surrender these hobbling demands. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to Twelfth Step ourselves and others into emotional sobriety.”

Bill Wilson – AA Grapevine, January 1958



Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from podcast #158  titled “Baby Steps: Time with Allen Berger PHD Part 1” … The session dropped on 4/3/2024   .Click here to hear the podcast. 




Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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