If you have ever been to an AA meeting, you may recognize some of the things I am going to share in relation to how an alcoholic in recovery stays sober. Success for the recovering alcoholic pivots upon them developing a reverential fear of alcohol.
By Having Respect
One of the common things offered to newcomers into the program is the concept that if they choose to drink again, they will quickly go back to the level of alcoholism they were experiencing prior to quitting.
They hear things like: “alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful.” Another common phrase is: “If you don’t drink-you won’t get drunk.”
By Controlling Their Thoughts
A recovering alcoholic in the AA program will be taught that the battle begins in the mind. Many say that alcoholism is a thinking disease. The power of living in the moment can be discovered in developing the ability to recognize the troubling thoughts related to the regrets of the past and fears of the future.
Through Living In The Moment
As an alcoholic learns how to stay present in the moment by living one day at a time, the old tormenting thoughts that use to drive them to drinking are abandoned. This is where the promises of the program come to fruition. As they progress in their sobriety, the regrets of the past and fear of the future are rendered powerless over their lives. These are just a couple of the many promises of the program.
By Surrendering To God
The twelve steps of the AA program can be reduced to the first three. As we view them in the light of having a relationship with God, here are the three paraphrased versions of these steps.
- I can’t
- He can
- So I’ll let him
By Abandoning Ways of Deception and Embracing Honesty
Rather quickly, the patterns of the AA program start to work miracles in people’s lives. As they begin to form a lifestyle that demands rigorous honesty, their thinking begins to become clearer and they begin to realize that God is doing for them what no human power could ever do.
Here are the points I’ve made in relation to when an alcoholic gets sober:
- A relationship with God begins to develop.
- The old thinking patterns that used to cause them to drink are replaced with thinking that will assist them in staying sober.
- A reverential fear of alcoholism starts developing as they hear testimonies from others that are different from their own-yet the same. They quickly develop an understanding of how cunning, baffling and powerful the disease of alcoholism really is.
Through Keeping Sobriety First On The List
An alcoholic in recovery learns to place their sobriety above anything and everyone. The number one priority that ranks higher than every event in their lives is that they MUST not drink no matter what. Their decisions about who they will associate with and where they will go are greatly influenced by their desire to stay AWAY from situations that could cause them to be tempted to drink.
By Regular Participation In The Recovery Program
Attending meetings is encouraged by all of the regular attendees of the AA program. The popular term: “meeting makers make it” is a truth that anyone serious about quitting will surrender to. Meetings provide a safe place for a recovering alcoholic to spend their time.
Through reading books, developing a relationship with God, fellow-shipping with other alcoholics, and by attending meetings, a recovering alcoholic has many alternatives to the old lifestyle. Their ability to stay sober strengthens as they continue to recognize the signs of alcoholism in their life.
An alcoholic in recovery has much to learn, but the one thing that will keep them sober for the rest of their life is living by the simplest truth of the AA program. “If you don’t drink-you won’t get drunk.”