Discussions related to 12 Step Recovery and Treatment
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Postby sunlight » Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:23 pm

I was talking to a woman who had gone back out drinking after a period of sobriety. :cry:

She told me, "Sometimes sobriety isn't enough."

So, I'd like to pose the question: Is sobriety enough?

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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:26 am

I'm not sure in what context the lady was saying it. I don't know what she meant by what she said, so it's difficult to share an idea about something that I don't know the full scoop on.

Twenty-two years ago, when I got on my knees and asked God to help me return to AA and to stay sober... I meant that physical sobriety, regardless of how painful it would be... would be enough. My only desire was to be physically sober -- so that I could make some amends, to my loved ones and to others that I had harmed.

I had no idea -- that AA was referring to more than just physically sober -- and that more was possible than physically sober. I had no idea that I could find a way of life that could become greater than anything that I had ever imagined. I had no idea -- that AA offered a way to be comfortable, happy, joyous, free, and useful -- while sober.

If the lady meant that physical sobriety was sometimes not enough... because she has not done the work to be comfortable or happy and useful while sober -- then, yes, I understand that she might mean that she needed a drink because she has not found what she was looking for in the bottle. Or, did she mean... that she would rather experience an alcoholic death... than face truth and to do the actions required to do the work to achieve sobriety -- as a state of quality in being sober?

From page 82, Big Book:

The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through
the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships
are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish
and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil.
We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is
He is like the farmer who came up out of his
cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he
remarked, “Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t
it grand the wind stopped blowin’?â€

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Postby garden variety » Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:20 am

Ditto on what Dallas said - especially about the context. Would she rather be drinking? If so give her $5.00 and tell her the next drink is on you. Otherwise, tell her to make a "Gratitude List" starting with her eyes and nose. Go ahead get in her face! :shock: :twisted:

The thing that reallys stands out is that there are 12 steps and 12 spiritual principles, right off the bat. I mean just look at number 12: "Having had a spiritual awakening, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practiice these principles in all out affairs."

There's a lot going on in that step, huh? To me the step tells me that just "putting the plug in the jug" is not enough. Quitting drinking will make an alcoholic drink again without the program. The program is more than "sobriety" meaning "freedom from alcohol". It's a "design for living that really works". Is sobriety enough? I don't know, is living enough? There is a difference to me between "surviving" and "living".

Now let me throw in what the book says early on. Go to page 19:

"We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our prnciples lies before us in our respective homes, occupations, and affairs."

Did I mention that I LOVE SOBRIETY! End of story - beginning of story!

God bless.

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Postby Tim » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:55 am

Sobriety as in 'not-drinking' isn't enough. Sobriety that is physical, mental, emotional and spiritual is enough.

Sober is a word that is rich in meaning and connotes wholeness of body, mind and spirit. One could write a whole book on the subject; in fact, someone has (There's More to Quitting Drinking Than Quitting Drinking by Paul O.)

When I was only physically sober, I was miserably sober. Adding mental, emotional and spiritual sobriety makes for more contented sobriety. Make of this what you will.

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Postby Jools » Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:08 pm

Nope, just being sober is not enuff. I've learned that time and time again. That's why I'm so anxious to work the steps. I can't stay sober of my own accord.

I suffered so much pain while drinking and caused so much heartache, not only to myself but to my family. I have been just sober and suffered just as much pain. I long for what y'all have and I'm going to get it too.

Let me give you a small example of what being sober with the program is.

My neighbor planted a bunch of crepe myrtles down our property line. I intentionally didn't plant any trees in the center of my yard because I've been there and cleaned up the mess year after year. So, I've had a resentment against her EVERY fall including this one because those damn leaves blow over into my perfect lil yard and "I" have to rake them up. Every time I pull into my driveway I'm justa stewin'. This year I vowed I was going to have a talk with her about those leaves and how ticked off I get because I have to rake them every year. Last week I got my blower out and blew them BACK in her yard. Its even crossed my mind to kill those dang trees.

Well yesterday, I'm pulling into my driveway and this thought comes into my head. Why don't you just rake them up, my side AND her side. I'm thinkin' where in the heck did THAT thought come from?????? Well, I know where it came from. It certainly didn't come from Julie. It came from what I prayed yesterday morning.

God, I offer myself to thee
to build with and do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self
so I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties so
that victory over them would
bear witness to those I would
help of Thy power, Thy love,
and Thy way of life.

No more resentment.

Nuff said.......


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Postby sunlight » Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:50 pm

Wow! Woweeee wow wow!

You gave me goose bumps Julie.

It's awesome when you see the changes in others, but,for me, it's mind-blowing, 4th-dimensional when you see it in yourself!

Thanks so much for sharing that. You made my day :D :D :D

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Postby Dallas » Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:18 pm

Thanks for sharing! :lol:

I'm better now... but, I remember a time...
when I got a rope and was going to lasso
my neighbors hi-power radio antenna that was hanging over my property line -- and jerk his antenna down!!!
Yep! I was sober, too.

A cop came out to help me chill out. :lol:

About 5 years later... I saw the cop in an AA meeting!
He had just gotten out of treatment and I offered my number
if he ever wanted to call.

Once in a while I still see him in his patrol car and we get to chat.

I've never mentioned to him about the lassoing the antenna adventure and I often wonder if he's made the connection. :lol:

The really cool thing is......... I haven't done anything like that in a long time now. And, I hope that I didn't just jinx my streak by writing about it!


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Postby sunlight » Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:53 pm

Thank you for the replies! I did not give all the info, just to prompt some thought.

Paul wrote "Go ahead get in her face! / Is sobriety enough? I don't know, is living enough?"

I detect a little testiness there! That was my initial response. I thought, "What do you mean sobriety's not enough? What's enough?" :shock:

Of course, then it hit me: only a spirit-filled life is enough.

Sobriety without the effort of working the 12 steps, without a God of my understanding, without a spiritual awakening, psychic change & the opportunity to be of service, without the FELLOWSHIP is flat. Kind of like the flat line on a EKG when a person dies. Without AA I'm just the walking dead. This is from personal experience & I bet most of us can relate.

The woman in the question is back out there rippin' & roarin"
I'm glad I didn't give her $5.00 for a drink. I'm gonna use it to bet, if she's a true alcoholic, that she won't be saying, "Drinking is working this time!"

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Postby Jools » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:10 am

I'm not taking that bet, Sunlight..I only bet when it's a sure things. :wink:

What amazed me, after nine yrs of being without alcohol, was that in just 2 short years I was having to take a drink in the morning to stop the shakes. I "knew" this disease was a progressive illness, but now I KNOW it is.

The thing about it is, physically I CAN'T drink anymore. That ticked me off, but I believe its what brought me to that total surrender and admission of powerlessness that I don't think I truly had in my heart before.

I pray this woman comes back soon. It takes what it takes for some of us to be willing to go to any length. I may buck the system a bit, but eventually I come around and do the things that are suggested.

Thanx for the topic, Sun.


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Postby Jools » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:21 am

Dallas, I could picture that in my mind. LOL

Picture this. Julie 60 days sober and breaking a windshield on a car I sold to a young man who isn't paying me for it. :roll: Then I drank for 3 days and now I have 25 days again.
Even tho I apologized and have already paid for the windshield to be fixed, he refused to have it fixed and instead chose to take out a warrant on me. Thankfully, the magistrate saw fit to make it a non arrest warrant. I would have DIED if I had been arrested. Me, 48 years old being a raging maniac. I'm very ashamed of that.:oops:

So, now I'll pay an attorney and go to court. I bet I won't be busting out any more windshields.

Monday I go to court for a recovery a property claim I made. God willling, I'll get the car back. :oops:

I am painfully praying for him because I made the mistake of mentioning in a post that I was willing to go to any length to stay sober. That's really hard for me to do when all I wanna do is have someone beat the crap out of him. The more I've thought about it, the more I realize that, even tho I'm praying for him, it's really for me because the resentment is blocking me off from God.

Thanks to GV for kickin' me in the butt and making me see what I needed to see.

And thanx to y'all for allowing me to share all my craziness.


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