What Outside Forces Keep You Sober?

The good AA answer to this is that none do.  I keep myself sober by following, participating in and practicing the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but even then, it is a truism of the program that at certain, unpredictable times, there will be nothing between me and a drink except my higher power.

I wrote about my closest call so far and honestly, it may or may not have been the hand of my higher power that saved me.  I don’t know.  I don’t need to know.  The other time that comes to mind is when my ex left me with two small children and a terror of sending them to child care.  I was really frightened and at times the thought of drinking crossed my mind.  I had about seven years of sobriety at that time.  I would, then, think the drink through and picture my six-year-old daughter trying to get up and get herself ready for school.  I believe that she would have done that.  The thought was unacceptable to me, and so I didn’t drink, but this very thought process shows me that sanity had returned.

When I slipped and slipped and slipped, I may have admitted that it would probably not end well, but I held out the hope that it would.  So I tried.  By the time I thought of drinking with seven years sober, I knew that it wouldn’t end well.  I knew that the scenario where my daughter tried to get herself to school was a very good scenario.  More likely, I would damage her in a drunk driving accident, or burn the house down, or something even more tragic.  A power greater than me had restored my sanity.

That’s what kept me sober then.  I knew that if I drank, I would sacrifice everything on my gratitude list, if I was lucky.  If I was unlucky, I would suffer one or more of the tragedies I’ve heard about in the rooms, but haven’t experienced for myself, yet.

The things, outside of the program, that help enhance my sobriety (but do not keep me sober) are many.  I will include books and friends and church.  But it all comes back to the program, because there I learned to interact with and benefit from books and friends and church and such.

4 thoughts on “What Outside Forces Keep You Sober?

  1. Hi Lydia, I just read a few of your entries and wanted to say how much I enjoyed them.

    I’ve been around for quite a while, but have been going through a difficult patch for a period of time. I’m making an effort to refresh my program (more and different meetings), and this morning I decided to have a quick look online – I actually found your list of character defects first which was helpful, and more comprehensive than the list I was given.

    Anyway, I wanted to leave a note to say I really enjoyed my 10 minutes reading what you had taken the time to write – you made a difference to my day. I’ll come back and visit again.

    Best wishes


    • Thank you so much! So many people drift away. One of the things I did to refresh my program was start to write this blog. It’s been an adventure. Keep coming back!

  2. And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality – safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.

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