One of the difficulties I have with staying sober is that I like to drink. I also like my drugs: Valium, Percodan, and other opiates, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates. For me, drinking and drugging is forever natural. Being clean and sober is forever unnatural. Even though my sobriety date is July 4, 1989, and I have been sober for 11,173 days, a day at a time, sobriety has never become natural for me. I rely on the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous and I do what it says to do.
Step One of Alcoholics Anonymous tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when I drink it. Step One of Al-Anon tells me that I am powerless over alcohol when other people drink it, or when other people want to drink it. Both treatment programs, and The Retreat (which is not a treatment program) are powerless over alcohol and addiction when the people in them want to drink.
“The 12 Traditions of A.A. tell us that “we ought not ever be organized…” (Tradition Nine) but, this statement comes out of the organization’s lack of sanctions and disciplinary measures for the membership."
“Before I was broken, I was convinced that my problems were: My family, my school, the police, my girlfriend, my lack of a girlfriend, my peer group, my lack of money, etc., etc. etc.”"
“I don’t mean driving under the influence of alcohol, I mean driving under the influence of anger, resentment, and ego. “You’re in MY lane!” “You’re in MY way!” “You cut ME off!”"
“Step 12 says “as a result” of these steps. It doesn’t say you can work on the steps if and only if you first have a spiritual awakening. So I needed to start over and work on steps 1-11 first. "
“What has God done for me, that I could never do for myself? On Independence Day, 2019, I get to celebrate 30 years of continuous sobriety in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous."
“I stopped going to meetings....I stopped hanging out with people in the program”
Most weekdays I work at The Retreat as the Spiritual Care Coordinator. Most of the time I am meeting with men and women who have already identified themselves as alcoholics and addicts who need recovery and want recovery, using the Twelve Steps and the Big Book of alcoholics anonymous. They understood that what The Retreat has is a thirty day immersion into the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. What The Retreat does not have is radio, television, computers, cell phones, and much in the way of entertainment. We take people who need recovery, put them with people who have recovery, and let everyone benefit from shared experience.