Preaching to the choir. Writing about and trying to pump up sobriety and sober living is like preaching to a choir, most of whom are sleeping or thinking about last night’s fight with the spouse. I’m not a preacher, never have been, never wanted to be. I know in definite terms what sobriety means to me and will always listen or talk to another suffering alcoholic about recovery. But, friends, I’m tired of wasting my energy on folks who don’t truly want the blessings of sober living. Either you want it or you don’t. Get off the fence. Same goes for faith in a Higher Power whatever name we determine to apply to that Higher Power. Either you believe with heart and soul or you don’t. The choice is yours.
Or is it? I’ve shared my story numerous times. When I am honest, I can’t remember a single time when I decided to ‘get sober’. I remember many times when life became too much of a burden, when I hated who I was, when I wanted to die. I remember praying to something out there in the ozone for relief and then popping the top of another can of beer. Bottom line is that Larry Brown did not decide to get sober on a certain date in 1981. I did not choose sobriety.
Same with faith in a God. I made a career out of praying to some entity which was more often than not a relic from my childhood. When days were good, I said God had blessed my life. When days went badly, I blamed a vengeful, judgmental old bearded man sitting on his heavenly throne punishing me for being human. Again there is not a date years ago when Larry Brown dropped to his knees and immediately became a child of God. I still have a hard time connecting with those who say they were ‘saved’ on a specific date years ago. Certainly I can’t deny what they profess, but that’s not how it worked for me. After years of sobriety and a dedicated effort to know my Higher Power, I finally realized the saving grace that so many had talked about. I did not choose God. I was chosen to be used.
With time and fellowship with other sober men and women, faith and sobriety ‘miraculously’ happened. In reviewing my life, I know that I don’t hate myself, want to kill myself or, miracle of all miracles, open another can of beer. I love sobriety and believe that the God, whom I now serve, is a much better manager of me than I ever was or could hope to be.
And that’s where it’s at. Either you want it or you don’t. Get off the fence and put in the footwork.
(Dedicated to all of you who still want it both ways.)