And I know what that’s like because I refused to change my behavior for decades. I knew that to get and to stay sober I had to become a permanent non-drinker – I just refused to do it.
Yesterday, I replied to a social network post where a woman who had experienced 32 years of sobriety had relapsed and for the life of her, could and would not get sober again. Nothing she tried was working. In so many words, she wrote that getting sober the first time wasn’t near the challenge that getting sober this time was proving to be. As though the answer could and should be easy to find outside of her = perhaps at a meeting or through a book – or – who knows. That was her thinking.
So I said – No. Not only is the answer inside you – it’s floating around inside you next to your will power and self-control. Yes. These are two things you also own.
To which, someone else replied to me that the OP (original poster of the thread) was just looking for some help. And I didn’t say anything else because apparently – this thickness of the mind is rampant and wide spread. Now, for the record – it took me 23 years to get sober. I know all about being thick. I relapsed so many times, I’ve lost count. I’ve been to residential treatment nine times. So – while I’ve never experienced 32 years of sobriety, I’d be willing to bet that I know EXACTLY how this woman felt before she relapsed. She wanted a drink and NOTHING and NO ONE was going to get in her way. End of story.
Do I agree that having a helping hand can be helpful sometimes? Sure. Fine. But not really because when it comes down to it – no one can stop drinking for someone else. That’s just not how it works. Think about it – what alcoholic wouldn’t pay someone else to get sober for them? It’s HELL.
I don’t have one thing against groups like AA, Refuge Recovery, Rational Recovery, SMART Recovery – or anything else like books or speakers or coaches or mentors or counselors or anything/anyone that someone might find helpful. Here’s the catch…everyone and everything is saying the same thing – STOP DRINKING.
There are three pieces to this pie. GETTING sober is one third. Another third is to STAY sober. The last third is composed of our mentality and attitude about drinking and alcohol. It’s where “I Don’t Drink.” comes from. It’s where self-control and will power live. Alcohol and drinking have to be permanently dismissed from someone’s life. On a daily basis. Forever. Until – – – – – – – -> we poof out.
And my guess – it’s only a guess – is that this woman I mentioned, the one who had 32 years of sobriety – didn’t have possession of the third piece of the pie. She got sober, she stayed sober for 32 years, but she never owned the slice of pie that owns being a non-drinker. What does it mean to anyone – to myself – that I got sober once six years ago for 20 months? It doesn’t mean shit. I already knew I could do it. I just hadn’t snatched that third slice of pie – until ten months ago this Thursday.