I was initially writing this article about Steps 6 and 7, but decided to change direction after receiving a phone call. A friend called to let me know that another friend had died. I immediately began to think about him, and all the work he had done. He had a strong desire to stay sober, just like so many other men and women who still suffer from this illness.
Why do we continue to lose people to relapse and death that really want to be sober?
This is a subject that has come up several times this week with our current patients. When I question someone who wants to leave treatment early or refuse our aftercare recommendations, the response is almost always the same. “Chad, I don’t even want to drink or use; I want to be sober.” My desire to stay sober is of little benefit; the power of choice will never be returned to me.
The men and women who stay sober are not those that have the greatest desire. They are those that continue to take suggestions and follow directions.
The Big Book is very clear about the choice we do have: “go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help” (page 25). This doesn’t just apply to the alcoholic or addict who is getting sober. I watch so many people choose the first option with months and even years of sobriety. They are moving through life asleep, blind to the fact that their spiritual condition is worsening. I must continue to accept spiritual help. My life at nine years sober still hinges on the help I receive from God and others. I believe that being accountable to others, taking suggestions, and following direction are essential to permanent recovery.
Do you have the support and accountability to assist you, if you should need to be reawakened? Are you still willing to take suggestions and follow directions?
We’d love to help you, a friend, a loved one. Call (844) 843-8935