Anti-Sobriety Myths

At this writing, I’ve been sober 16 years.

Getting sober  takes time.

I’ve seen a few myths derail more than one person’s chance at getting sober.

One myth says: “I am sober when I stop drinking.”

Wrong. Not, somewhat wrong, or a little wrong. Wrong. Dead wrong. You’re clean, as it were, when you stop drinking, not sober.

Here’s the reality (fact) that replaces the myth. You have to stop drinking in order to get sober. Getting sober takes time. Trust me.  If you’re fortunate enough to be in your early strides of the experience, you don’t yet realize how unwell you are.

Another myth says: “I can do it alone” and yet another is some family member or loved one thinking that they can save the alcoholic-addict.

Reality says: “Not only are you wrong, but don’t you think it’s nice to find out there is at least one massive life challenge you don’t have to face alone?”

I do.

There is another unflinching fact. Being an active alcoholic results in one of three endings: jails, institutions, or death. This is fact.

One other thing, another expression I learned. You’re not allowed to kill yourself in your first three years of sobriety because you’ll be killing the wrong person.



Fighting for Our Lives

None of us have been in the same room as perfection and none of us ever will be. But I would like to think each of us has the capacity to fight for our lives. The question is, will we? Will I? Will you?

We all know people who, for reasons that can be hard to understand, won’t fight for their lives. People who leave their medical conditions unaddressed, or live with medical conditions they don’t know about because they don’t go to the doctor. I am one who is guilty of not going to the doctor enough. Remember, in this blog, I promise you honesty, not perfection.  Many of us know people who battle with substance-abuse addictions; sometimes they wear the face of booze, sometimes drugs, oftentimes both.

I have known and know people who are stopped by something or someone when it comes to declaring war against the forces that are intent on ending their lives. And if these forces can’t end life right away, they’ll damage the hell out of it in the meantime. These forces are relentless. They possess evil tenacity and zero conscience. They don’t give a rat’s ass if you are a nice person. They’re not going to leave you alone because you have a good job or nice car or because your family and friends love you.

But what stops so many of us from issuing this declaration of war against an addiction or the possibility or presence of deadly disease?

I think the answer is found in this observation. Somewhere along the line we lost sight of our value.

If we were raised in abusive households, we may never have experienced our value in the first place. If you are a member of a minority, it is not unlikely that you’ve been given the message that you are worth less than others. The reason I would urge all of you to declare war, not just against any force designed to end your life, but against influence of your history, your society or your present that stops you from seeing your value is because your value is really there. It has always been there.

Just because you can’t  experience yourself as being a worthwhile human being yet, doesn’t mean you are not a worthwhile human being. It means something or someone is stopping you from experiencing yourself accurately.

Who do you think deserves control over your experience of you? You or your history? You are something or someone in your present who gives you the message that you are worthless? I vote for you. After all, if I am right, and I am, that you truly are a valuable and extraordinary person, don’t you think you have a right to find out? I do.