“We are not a glum lot.”
Updated: May 18
On May 17, 2023, Ms. Claudia stopped by for a coffee, leaving us with much to think about. You can listen to the sober.coffee podcast by clicking this link.
There were many takeaways from our session that we thought we would highlight in today's post:
You have to put in the work
The world is full of upgrade opportunities. We pay for better seats; We pay for privileges; We pay up for advancements in many forms.
We wish this blog could point you to a path of recovery that can be bought. However, we have found a solution that produces grand rewards based on consistent efforts.
That is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that has worked for us and countless others. So please don't give up on this opportunity. Though there is no financial obligation required, it will take effort through action to bring us to a place together that is unimaginable.
For those new to the concept, the program combines a significant spiritual commitment, requiring openness and a willingness to be guided. In addition, the 12 practical steps can be taken over a variety of timelines.
Men Are from Mars; Women Are from Venus
Most men put the toilet seat back down after use. (it's unclear why we have not trained our women to return the seat after use since the beginning of time. LOL).
The fact, the best we could uncover, is that 38% of the membership of AA is of the female variety.
To say that men and women come from completely different molds would be the understatement of the century. The similarities far outweigh the differences when it comes to the recovery world and the rooms of AA. That being said, we are, and so should the reader, cognizant that the roles and expectations of each gender are as specific as they are unique. We see that when we exit the rooms, the world spins differently based on gender.
Our plea to the sober curious female is to plug into the available women's meetings in your area or on zoom, seeking support and community from other women who will face similar life challenges.
Much wisdom comes from each member, regardless of gender, where motives are pure.
By the way, here is where they insert the heartfelt statement that AA it's not the place for men to be turning on the charm. AA is, and should always, be a safe haven, a sanctuary, where ALL people can feel safe and secure because we are together for one purpose and one purpose only: to help each other stay sober.
We're never cured
The road to sobriety is endless. But, for those in constant motion toward recovery, we recognize the day’s victories as battles prevailed, not wars won.
AA offers up a blueprint, a design for better living. The book and the program never talk about completion. Some would even suggest that AA is dated and written in outdated language. We advise that it has worked for millions in its current form. We have discovered that where we have a problem, whether it appears on a page or sits next to us in a room, the problem is our reluctance to surrender to a proven program – we are back to making excuses.
As Glenn always points out, surrender is the linchpin, the turning point required to move forward. This may sound harsh and uncomfortable to heed 100%, but that “all in” has turned us inside out.
To detach or lean in?
Life will hand us life in a continual current. Relationships will get rocky. Jobs will lose security. Finances will become challenging. Pets will get sick, and people will die.
There is still growth even when you lose something that is right in front of you. Loss doesn't need to be a struggle. The battle belongs to the mind.
We have found through times of trial that turning up the effort and tapping into the tools available to us is healthier in the long run than detaching ourselves from reality. Detaching and escaping were our goto coping mechanisms during our days of alcohol and drug abuse. However, we have a long track record and plenty of proof that detaching, while it may be inevitably necessary, is an area we tread into with heightened conscience.
This is also an area where we lean on our accountability community, sponsors, and fellow alcoholics to help navigate toward the best responses.
Leverage the levity!
Sobriety is serious business, and one can never forget that. Without sobriety, life's greatest chances and joys do not exist. But does this mean we are limited to the stoic look and that constant internal scowl? We think not.
For us, life is just too short to take ourselves or the situations around us too seriously.
There is strength in taking our sobriety seriously while taking a lighter approach to the people, places, and things around us. We find it healthy to chuckle at reality. From our vantage, we understand that we don't control the outcomes, so we choose to smile in the face of the scenarios in front of us.
Does this self-propelled positioning define us as shallow? We know better as we know the depth of our thoughts and defend our right to laugh at much – sniggering at the noise that interrupts our emotional sobriety.
“We are not a glum lot” (page 132 of the AA “Big Book)
May today find you joyous and fulfilled!
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a bonus drop sober.coffee podcast titled #112 Claudia WomenThe podcast dropped on 05/17/2023. 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.