June 26, 2013

Alcoholism is Cunning and Baffling Indeed

I went one of my favorite meetings the other day. It was a beginners meeting. I love beginners meetings because I never want to forget what it felt like in the beginning. I had the pleasure of talking to a woman who has just relapsed after almost 2 years of sobriety. She was in great pain and was quite confused as to how and why the relapse happened. She said she had a hard time quitting again - "This thing is huge, it is way bigger than me!"

Yes it is! - “Remember we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us.” – AA Big Book, pg. 59
Sometimes I wonder, still, how I managed to get sober, and I am quite understanding of the disbelief that someone may have after they have relapsed.  It seems so simple at first, just quit drinking, then you realize that it isn’t so easy, that we have wrapped our minds and lives around alcohol, and we have become powerless over the first drink. And that life after years of drinking is not all peaches and cream just because we got sober. It is still life!

For me, in the end it took the complete acceptance and surrender. Willingness! I just had to stop fighting it, I just needed to give up the debate. I needed to move forward, towards the solution and stop living in the problem – alcohol was my problem, sobriety was my solution.
The solution sounds simple, just stop drinking, but it is not either. It took complete honesty with myself and others, which meant opening up and being vulnerable. Yep, admitting that I had a problem and admitting that I needed help.
For me, it took completed determination, the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, and a reliance on a Higher Power – but whatever you may find, it will be a huge help and unbelievable support to find a group of people that are going thru the same struggles as you. If you are not open to AA, or a program per say, there are also many sober blogs out here; you can check out my list under the What I read link.

All this sounds like a tall order, right?! But once you are able to get tru the beginning the rest becomes easier and easier. No matter how you get sober or what program you follow, I would suggest to start slow, just baby steps, one day at a time. No need to change your entire life all at once. Have faith and tell yourself that you can stay sober for today. Today is all that matters. Then find new things to do, maybe learn how to cook something – I know I didn’t eat well when I was drinking, cooking become my first tool that helped me to stay sober. Also, recognize your immediate triggers, like places, people, and things that you used to drink over, and stay away from them. I think this is crucial; for instance we have no business going to a bar if we are trying to stay sober!

Another great tool for early sobriety for me was planning my day out and writing it down so I can follow it and check off the things I have completed. It really helped me to stay busy and keep my mind occupied as much as possible by other things than alcohol. Also you can get a bunch of books to read too! I never read when I was drinking, I have almost forgotten how too! I ended up ordering bunch of books from Amazon in my early sobriety. One of them was The Long Run by Mishka Shubaly – for the tiny Kindle Price of $1.99 – great story of an amazing journey to sobriety.

Staying sober can be challenging, but you can do it!!!

   ...because it may come fast or a bit slower, but it will happen if you work towards it.


  1. Great post! i love beginner's meeting as well. Of the 3-4 meetings i hit weekly, of them are beginners. It also helps that i'm on Step 12 and my Sponsor has told me to volunteer to be a Sponsor myself.

    i love the advice you give! All of it's Spot On!

    1. Thanks Al! Sponsorship is really great and keeps you out of your head for sure! And it really makes you grateful for sobriety! Good luck, hope someone comes your ways soon.


Keep moving forward!