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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Nothing or Everything



Without sobriety, we have nothing.


We believe the statement above with all that is in us. Our hearts and minds align with this unshakable truth. We have lived outside sobriety and have experienced the parting of soul and spirit. We now know the depth of life quality attainable through sober living. Nothing short of complete clarity and connection exists in our newfound reality. Relationships and spirituality, our very core, collapse without this program for life. 


That being said, protecting and producing on what we possess becomes our priority. Any crack in our commitment to growth can potentially spoil the serenity we have achieved. 

Though this may seem like a tall order, it comes down to a few basic actions that we perform daily.  We consider these maintenance efforts essential in our quest to access the full promises of 12-step living. All measurable, we practice the following as diligently as we can, understanding that we are not perfect.  Pure motive and progress are our ultimate aspirations.


Abstinence

By definition, sobriety is a lifestyle that involves much more than not drinking or drugging. True sobriety is living on a set of practices and principles that produce quality output from deep within. The authenticity of sober living can't be faked, forged, or manufactured by man. It is a being onto itself. It is the result of a commitment to a set of spiritual principles. No spirituality, no sobriety. 


Abstaining from the consumption of any recreational mind-altering substance is the first and most important step toward full sobriety. Some say that is our admission ticket. We don’t play with this one: no wine-based ingredients, gummies, or near-beers. We know what a little leads to. More importantly, we understand what clarity delivers. We have tasted this discipline's fruit and desire no substitute. 


Action

We have chosen to follow the path of better living laid out in what is commonly referred to as 12-step recovery.  Alcoholics Anonymous, founded in the 1930s, produced a playbook for healing and happiness.  Within the first 164 pages rests a set of rules (if that term turns one off, guidelines or suggestions can be substituted).  If worked to their full extent, these suggestions transform one from desperate to determined, void to full, helpless to hopeful.  These guides become the base of new beginnings and guardrails to better decisions, both working toward the betterment of our very existence. 


To be clear, the steps laid out are not a one-and-done proposition.  We work these steps repeatedly as a mesh to clarify and to crystalize our understanding while shaping our actions and activities.  We also work these steps with those new to these alternative standards and methods, and as we do, we grow in our comprehension, improving our presence. It is a straightforward win-win. 


Accountability

Transparency runs constant as a scoreboard to our success. Without accountability, we can't know if we are on the winning side of this scenario we call life. 


We find answerability an asset as we work on our plans. We have found it challenging to self-assess, and we have come to depend on others to point out our missteps, lapses, faults, mistakes, and oversights. 


We rely on A) those we work closely with on program practices and principles, i.e., sponsors and sponsees  B) other like-minded individuals with whom we share with within the AA meeting rooms, and C) trusted advisors such as family members, friends, clergy, and professional counselors. 


We know that we need not, nor should we opt not to work on life alone.  There is strength in association where motive is pure.  There is value in accountability if our goal is growth. 

 

We check ourselves daily, reflecting on the above framework. In the morning, we lay out our day, defining objectives and tasks.  We don’t look to conquer but to act with purpose and integrity.  We ask for spiritual direction and support.  Then we go about our business, connected to those who care about our sobriety.  At night, we review our day and inventory the wins and losses.  We are thankful for our strengths and ask forgiveness for our weaknesses. 


With sobriety, we have everything.



 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast # 163 titled “Into Action “ … The session dropped on. 5/8/2024   Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Tim Huyghe on Unsplash   

 

BLOG DISCLAIMER:

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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