Glenn’s Crib Sheet / 22 Tools for Sobriety
In a recent episode of sober.coffee podcast, Glenn shared a short list of 22 things he does to keep sober. Though we could write 22 blogs, expounding on each action item, we thought it would be beneficial to list them out to help support those looking to tune up or expand their sobriety toolbox:
“Play the Tape Forward” – think through what might logically happen if alcohol/drug consumption is re-introduced into the equation.
“AA meeting attendance” -- though there is no magic number, regular attendance at meetings keeps one sharp. Showing up is important, as is participating and serving when possible (chairing, sharing, pouring coffee, etc.).
“Accountability” -- establishing relationships that deliver accountability has been a secret sauce in our growth. Efficient accountability is the result of absolute honesty.
“Work with the sponsor” -- The magic isn't in naming a sponsor; it is in developing one’s sobriety through accepting life guidance from somebody who understands an alcoholic and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Daily Spiritual Connection” -- time carved out daily for prayer, meditation, and reflection to help keep one charged.
“Executing on page 86” – continuing to frame out the day with the instructions found on page 86 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Weekly church attendance” -- may not be for everybody, but for Glenn’s list, he emphasized connecting spiritually in a congregate worship environment. It was not his natural go-to for strength, but it has become such in his sobriety.
“Men's small group” -- is a natural extension to church attendance and a source of constant support and accountability; digging deeper into one’s spiritual connection is accomplished more efficiently in a group setting.
“Honesty” -- always on radar; 100% of the story is 100% of the truth. Honesty is critical as dishonesty was of our old nature, and anything that moves us backward keeps us from moving forward.
“Serve, serve, serve” -- service outside one’s head is healthy. Constant motion while serving others is rewarding beyond what words reflect and demands triple focus.
“Annual AA retreat” -- read the biographies of those most successful in society, and you will see where they purposefully unplug from the noise and plug into the natural self. Annual recharge, with a focus on sobriety, is an invaluable exercise.
“WORK the steps of AA” -- realities change as fluidly as we do. Focused attention on the execution of the 12 working steps of AA comes from working on our emotional sobriety and should continue as we work with others. It is amazing how much we learn when we teach.
“Connect daily with other AArs”-- text and talk touches go a long way in helping the helper. One becomes whom one surrounds themselves with. There was a time that we deleted the dealer and added the sober brother to our phone book. That day of surrender was pivotal in our journey.
“Awareness” -- stopping the ride mid-motion to determine where we were in the cycle became a critical practice. Said another way, we worked on understanding where we were emotional, eliminating the element of surprise and exposing ourselves to a cunning, baffling, powerful foe.
“Building Guardrails” -- we developed a habit of thinking things through and establishing boundaries, or guardrails, as an effective strategy to stay the course. For example, pre-planning an exit strategy at an event would be an example of an efficient barrier.
“Therapy” -- there is a reason that the therapy space is a billion-dollar industry. A proper therapist with an honest patient can overcome life obstacles that are tough to tackle alone. Call them whatever you want, but these coaches work for the strong and the weak alike.
“Taking life one day at a time” -- focusing on a 24-hour block is the differentiator, keeping us from foolish forecasting or relentlessly reliving the past. This cliche has so much muscle if we apply it to the day’s mundane.
“Health Focus” – attention to our nutritional intake, sleep patterns, and exercise practices provides the high-octane fuel required for a successful recovery.
“Acceptable Scheduling” -- becoming very selfish about one's sobriety begins to shape our calendars. Maybe we don't need to golf with a particular group, linger with a certain neighbor, or dance with the devil at the banquet. Instead, our calendar might be better built to help the next struggling alcoholic achieve the date.
“OWN Sobriety” -- **** the stigma. We became unapologetic about our decision to live a sober lifestyle as our recovery is our priority. Pressed to indulge, we stand firm on the principles that have served us well.
“Ask for Help” -- raised to be self-sufficient, asking for help has become a superpower. It is amazing to see the transformation based on such a simple action. As the world teaches self-reliance, the reality is found in supportive relationships.
“Continual Surrender”—first, we surrendered to our internal grip on an enemy that had licked us. This is not a one-and-done for us. Daily, we surrender to the words of Alcoholics Anonymous, our sponsor and brothers in sobriety, our therapist, and our Higher Power.
There is no way we could have fought our way to victory. We had tried and failed. We have found victory through surrender.
We save expounding on these tools for a later date. For now, we will print them and live through them.
Are all these ingredients required to stay sober? We honestly don't know the answer -- but we can tell you that they have worked for us.
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast #E20 Relapse Prevention - Glenn Shares the 22 things he does to Stay Sober !, the episode dropped on 8/18/2021. 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.