Formulas for Sobriety

[fa icon="calendar"] May 10, 2018 10:34:19 AM / by Maj Donovan


When I first came into the program I stumbled upon a few formulas for sobriety. Now I’m not a numbers guy and I’m really quite math-phobic, but this was simple math that made sense to me. My first formula was - put as much time into your recovery as you did into your addiction.

I say I stumbled upon this formula because it was really by the trial and error method of learning. Allow me to illustrate the point. The year I sobered up I came into A.A. in June, but by the end of July I had one day of sobriety. I realized I wasn’t working a program and I needed to do something more. I asked my sponsor how many meetings a week I should go to. He answered my question by asking a question. He queried, “How many days a week did you party?”

I responded by saying, “I partied everyday”.

He said, “Well, there’s your answer Sherlock”.

And so for my first 365 days of sobriety, I went to 365 meetings. I discovered that if I did the opposite of what I did when I was using, it usually benefited my sobriety. I used to get a subscription to High Times magazine, so in sobriety I got a subscription to the Grapevine. I used to avoid sober people like the plaque, and in sobriety I socialized with them. I used get drunk or high every night so in sobriety I went to A.A. meetings every night.

Einstein once theorized that E = mc2. In this equation the E stands for energy.

If this be true, then is it also true that E x A = D? In this second formula the E stands for energy, the A for addiction and the D for death. In other words the more energy I put toward my addiction, the closer to death I’ll find myself.

If the above equation is true, then my third formula is: E x S = L. In this equation the E stands for energy, the S for sobriety and the L for life. In other words, the more energy I put toward my sobriety the better my quality of life will be.

In Newton's third law of motion he stated: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

How true this turned out to be with my disease. While in the active throes of my addiction, the more I pursued intoxication and euphoria the more depressed, and irritable I became. The more I pushed away my family and friends the larger my world of loneliness and isolation became.

Magically, Newton’s third law also held true for sobriety. The more I embraced my pain the larger my capacity for joy became. The more I confronted my shame and guilt the more serenity I felt. The more I faced my fears and anxieties, the more blessings of sobriety I received.

I’m not a numbers guy, but these were formulas that I found easy to understand, easy to implement, and formulas that produced a 100% return on investment.



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Topics: Alcoholics Anonymous, substance abuse, Sober Housing, AA Big Book, Recovery Program

Maj Donovan

Written by Maj Donovan

Maj Donovan is a person in long-term recovery with over four decades of sobriety. He is an author, blogger, lecturer and teaches a monthly workshop at “The Retreat” on the 12 Steps and Sponsorship.

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