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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Sober Enthusiast



Oxford defines an enthusiast as a person interested in a particular activity or subject.


The topic of sobriety intrigues us.  To say we are very interested in the science and art of recovery would be an enormous understatement.  Coming from the dark side of alcohol use provides us with a vantage of the light side of what the world views as normal.


Our lives were transformed, and our destinies altered in such a dramatic and spectacular way that we can hardly contain our desires to learn so we can teach, to follow so we can lead, and to explore so we can guide. 


When we were first introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and began to attend meetings where sharing feelings, facts, and emotions was encouraged, all we could hear were complaints and all we could do was complain.  Our life was a mess as was, so it seemed, for those whose group shared.  We were connecting to the similarities.  We were relating to the pain of others as we wallowed in our own.  When others were celebrating, we were swaying.  When the talk turned positive, we turned negative. 


As our own bleeding slowly subsided, we began to hear a message of healing.  It turns out that the message had been there all along; we were not connecting. 


Eventually, we listened as stories of restitution were shared.  We witnessed body language that we envied.  Desperate, we sought to deploy the approaches they said worked for them.  Over time, the bleeding stopped.  We were receiving bits of hope, and we were banking them. 


Hope morphed into real healing as the days passed.  We were fed a steady diet of medicine that made us stronger with each meeting we attended.  Want was replacing worry. 


Where was the ultimate answer? We asked. What assurance could we embrace that the forward motion would continue as fear of a setback paralyzed our thoughts? 

The answer came at a session where the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous was read and dissected through discussion.  There it was, found on page 89, as it seemed to jump off the page and scream to us:


…nothing will so much insure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other alcoholics.


Wait? What? We thought this was about fixing OUR problem, not THEIR problem. 


We didn’t argue with the suggestion; We embraced it.  We didn’t half-measure our intensity; we needed assurance.  We stepped up our game; we were “very interested in this particular activity or subject”.  We threw enthusiasm behind our desire to achieve. 


As of this writing, the statement and our follow-up activities have delivered immunity from what once ravaged our thoughts and determined our actions.


This revelation, this fact, proved to be the game-changer when a momentum shift was needed most.  The work turned intense as the promise unfolded.  We found that the more eager the effort equaled more enjoyment; our interest peaked as our inner system reflected approval.  We were/are energized, and our desire to be continually involved seems endless. 

We have an enthusiasm that directs our activities helpfully and healthily. 


We found that this enthusiasm to serve transcended beyond work with other alcoholics and proved beneficial in our social circles and society at large: Opening doors, serving with a smile, and sharing love without condition.  It is enthusiasm that breeds upon itself.  It is contagious when fed, a self-mutating plant that produces unlimited fruit.


This is all a lot.  The Big Book says it simply on page 20:


Our very lives, as ex-problem drinkers, depend upon our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”

 

So, we are left with the choice to approach this willy-nilly or with enthusiasm  To get some or get it all.  To be timid in our approach or to go for it with all the enthusiasm we can muster. 


We choose an approach with eagerness, warmth, fervor, zeal, passion, and devotion.

A positive and enthusiastic attitude is a critical component, we believe.


But, then, we are Sober Enthusiasts.



 

 

Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from sober.coffee podcast #44, titled "Listener Questions: What's All This About A Higher Power?”… The session dropped on 2/2/2022….Click here to hear the podcast. 


 

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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