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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Fashionably Sober

Quick research tells us that the fashion industry as we know it today began in 1858 when Charles Frederick Worth affixed a label to a garment he created.  We believe fashion started with a fig.  These days, tags are everywhere, and each person meshes a mixed look to make a statement – a reflection of who they are.

Proclamation of what we think and feel is signaled in our hats, shirts, pants, and shoes. 

Going further, we transmit indications of our inner selves in what we drive and where we live. 

This writing reflects on what we reflect.  It is not fashion, prestige, status, or our Facebook persona that will help the next struggling alcoholic, but the authenticity of our walk.  It will be the continuity of words and actions.  It will be plausibility and a peace that attracts.  It is a strand of hope that the hurting seek. 

“…obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got” – page 164 of the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous

We have found that the best of suggestions have come from those with similar experiences as ours. We receive their recommendations, direct or indirect, with merit because they have been where we were and are where we want to be. 

But words are just words. Education does not trump execution. If one is not fully transmitting an achievable end, we tend not to start.  “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t fly in most scenarios and definitely hinders helping the hurt. We try to live. “See what I do, then embrace the words.” 

What we do, then, is more important than what we say.  We check ourselves constantly to ensure that we transmit a consistent existence that someone would want – that somebody can model and, therefore, be transformed. 

What message are we sending with our actions?  Are we reflecting peace or conflict, tranquility or turmoil, harmony or hate, calm or chaos, serenity or strife?  Do we display acceptance? Do we show forgiveness? Do we wear our resentments on our labeled sleeves?  

We are only as legitimate as the language of our body. We can wear a cross of gold and be unfaithful.  We can preach patience while we loudly demand immediate gratification.  We can lecture on discipline and be careless.  We can tout the 12 steps while living none.  Seekers will see right through our hypocrisy, and if we are honest with ourselves, so will we. 

Living 12-step recovery is as much outward as inward.  If we don’t own it, we can't sell it, and this is an offering that could represent life over death. 

It is critical for us to learn to live sober so that we can be that strand to the struggling.

We have not completed our quest to be consistent, but we are making progress. The more we see the benefit of the words and how those we respect translate them into solid sobriety, the more we strive to connect our ins and outs. 

When people see us in society, we hope they will look past the designer jeans, fancy watch, and swoosh and see, by our actions, that we represent real recovery. We strive to scream the message that there IS a solution to the drink problem and a program designed for better living. 

That’s our message.  What is yours?



Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from podcast #51 titled “Progressive Recovery - "Recovery is NOT a Race"

The session dropped 3/23/2022.    Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Hong Nguyen on Unsplash



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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