Sobriety

Sobriety

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

•Confucius

 

The First Step: Sobriety

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Public BLOG, Sobriety, Women For Sobriety | 1 comment

The First Step: Sobriety

[Author: LilyQ] If you want to get off the merry-go-round of addiction the first step is sobriety. Sobriety is the maintained abstinence of alcohol or drugs. I got sober using the Women For Sobriety Program (WFS) program.  This program is based on the daily application of 13 statements that are designed to help recovering alcoholics embrace sobriety, stay sober and then focus on creating a life free from addiction. For me, the first statement is the one that focuses on getting and staying sober. It reads: I have a life-threatening problem that once had me.  I now take charge of my life and my disease.  I accept the responsibility. For me, Statement 1 contains two levels of acceptance: 1. I must come to accept that I have a life-threatening problem with alcohol. 2. I must accept responsibility for my life and the life-long management of my problem or disease. Sobriety Requires Accepting That I Am An Alcoholic In struggling with acceptance, I think we do go through a grieving process.  Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969 defined grieving as a 5 stage process by which people cope and deal grief and tragedy, especially when diagnosed with a terminal illness or experience a catastrophic loss.  Here is how the process goes with regard to acceptance that we have a life threatening problem with alcohol: 1. Denial: I am not an alcoholic, I just drink too much sometimes….. 2. Anger: Why did I have to born with the DNA of an alcoholic? Why can’t I have diabetes or some other disease? 3. Bargaining: If I take care of myself, manage my stress, my relationships, my problems then I won’t have to/feel the need/want to drink so much; I can moderate. 4. Depression:  I don’t care anymore–I am going to just drink myself into oblivion, I am just going to drink myself to death. 5. Acceptance: OK.  I have a life-threatening problem.  That is what it is and I am just going to have to deal with it. When we finally reach acceptance, we are ready to become sober.  Many of us however stay stuck bouncing back and forth in the first 4 stages of grief.  And so we go on the wagon and then off the wagon and then on the wagon and then…..Getting to sobriety can be a long process.  It takes a great deal of honesty, self-reflection and determination to move to the 5th stage of acceptance.   Ultimately though, the amount of time we spend going through this grieving process is up to us.  We can choose to stay stuck or we can choose to move into acceptance. Sobriety Requires Accepting Responsibility For My Life The second level–accepting responsibility for our lives and our disease is the jumping point for recovery and lays the foundation for our new life.  At this second level, I really believe that daily reflection on the statements is the one thing or tool that will make or break us in our effort to create and build a new life for ourselves.  The statements are a road map to building self-esteem and creating the life we are seeking to have for ourselves and with our loved ones. At the same time, at this second level of acceptance we must be actively managing the care of ourselves with...

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