Think broad

When someone enters into recovery,  their ambitions may be very modest. They may think, I would like to give up the booze for a while, or I would like to get the wife back, or I would like to get out of debt. they may look upon the exercise as a very limited method of achieving one single end, of getting the monkey of alcohol of their back. But soon into the pathway of sobriety, they discover that there is a lot more to it than simply giving up alcohol. In fact giving up alcohol is just the start of recovery, it is saimply step one on a very long journey. If the cliche is true, then stopping drinking is the easy part, but staying stopped is the hard part. Staying stopped off alcohol involves broadening ambition to many aspects of life. Since addiction to alcohol takes up a large part of life, in fact the major part of life, staying off alcohol involves redirecting all of those parts of life. So that means looking at all aspects of life that were in any way associated with alcohol, looking at friends who were drinking companions, looking at jobs or passtimes that were associated with alcohol, looking at the times of day that were spent drinking. All of these need to be looked at, and if necessary changed. A life without alcohol is a very different from a life built around it. Pride has to be rediscovered, and reasons for pride found in a sober life, and not a drinking one. It is wonderful when a major source of pride is the achievement and maintenance of sobriety; it is much healthier when the source of pride moves beyond that into the achievement of many things that could not be done while drinking. Recovery allows the rediscovery of personal pride, because at the bottom of a drinking life, it is very hard to be really proud of anything. In the cold light of a sober morning, almost nothing achieved during a drinking period is worthy of pride and very little is of value during that time. The greater purpose of recovery is the reestablishment of the foundations of self esteem and personal worth. Those foundations may be hard to define, and harder to actually find, but they are the things that make recovery not only possible but worthwhile. Sobriety is but the gateway to a much broader and worthwhile way of living.

The bigger picture

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