applause please

clappingIf you are sober today, give yourself and your Higher Power a hand.

It is quite a miracle, you know.  We, who could not put together two days of sobriety now embrace a lifestyle of sober-living with all the wondrous beauty and amazement which accompanies our daily reprieve from alcoholism.  We who could not live without our liquid fortification now enjoy days and nights free of the desire and the temptation.  We know, when we awaken in the morning, exactly what we did last night, whom we were with last night, where we  parked the car last night.  We know those things now because we did not saturate our brains with alcohol.  Give yourselves a hand.

The praises to a God of our understanding cannot be overstated for it indeed was an act of divine intervention.  All our efforts to practice controlled drinking, all our readings of self-help books, all our attention to heathy diets, all our promises to loved ones to quit could not defeat the curse of our common demon.  As much as we tried to be better as spouses, friends, employees, those efforts paled when that first drink of the day stood in front of us.  We finally admitted that we were powerless.

But, let’s not diminish the tremendous efforts on our part in the sobriety story.  Remember the field research we endured sitting night after night at our favorite watering hole romancing the bottle rather than a loved one at home.  And then the brilliance of that initial revelation that there was indeed a better way to live.  Sometimes it happened after an especially violent argument.  Or perhaps a dear friend urged us to “straighten up and fly right.”  A car accident, a lost job, a divorce, a financial crisis.  At some point the God of our understanding revealed God’s plan for our lives and we said, “Yes, I am willing to surrender.  I must surrender or I will die.”

That was just the beginning of another sobriety story joining the millions of other souls who had discovered a better way.  Chapter one of that story detailed the nights waking up in sheer terror after dreaming we had given in to the allure of alcohol and had been out drinking.  We roller-coasted from exquisite moments of clarity to abysmal thoughts of suicide.  We loved, hated, enjoyed, despised, hoped, despaired, laughed, cried and yet through it all we did not drink or drug.  The physical demands of our addictions lessened with each sober moment until after about 90 days, the challenge was essentially emotional and psychological.

Then began the realization that drinking was just the tip of the iceberg.  We had inflicted upon ourselves grave emotional damage that needed to be addressed in our new way of living.  We could no longer run to the bottle to hide the deeper, underlying defects of character which had plagued us long before we used alcohol as a cover-up.  Lifetime habits became glaringly problematic for us as sober men and women.  Facing necessary changes was grueling work which required a team effort.  You, your fellowship, and your Higher Power became that team.  For the first time in our lives, we understood the power of the nemesis called “self-will run riot.”  The intervention and ensuing miracles were acts of God, but we did the grinding work.

If you are sober today give yourself a hand.clapping




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