There are times when sobriety feels easy. When the thought of having a drink seems ludicrous. When you gaze around at the mayhem of wild party and think “what are they DOING to themselves?!”. When you think back to those dark days of drinking and give a silent thank you to whatever or whoever is keeping you sober.
Currently I’m in one of these phases. Not drinking was so hard for so long that I NEVER believed I’d have won the battle. And of course the battle is ongoing and never lost nor won, but I consider each sober day a minor victory.
Life is just EASIER when you’re not drinking. It works better, you feel more stable, (generally) more able to cope with what life throws at you… But it’s not easy.
I think when I was first trying to get sober I thought that the people who had any length of time under their belt just had it sorted, that they possessed some mythical quality that I did not. That they somehow had more willpower or inner strength than I. Now I know this not to be true.
I’ve spoken before about how the spiritual principles and programme of AA have been surprisingly centre stage in my recovery. AA is what got me sober for any significant period of time and has kept me sober. But there’s a mystery at the heart of it for me, and that same mystery applies to drinkers who have got sober without a 12 step programme. How do we stop drinking if we’re addicted? What changes in that final time that we break the cycle?
The easiest solution to getting sober is, of course, to stop drinking. To not pick up. To eschew alcohol of any kind. And yet at the centre of our disease is a compulsion that is so strong we cannot help ourselves.
The fact that sobriety can, at any time, for any of us, can, however fleeting, feel easy is some sort of wonderful miracle. We are so lucky to be removed from that compulsion. And yet any of us can reach that point, but how we do that is a very individual path. When we find that moment, that “click” where we want to be sober more than we want to drink, it’s incredible. For me it was very gradual, but once I’d found it I felt I could so this thing.
I’d love to hear from non- AA folk about how and when that click came. Because all I wanted to do when I was drinking was to know how other people made it to that magic moment. So if you can, take a little moment to share in the comments the story of your “click.”