Our “Sufficient Substitute” For Alcohol

Q: “‘I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I?  Have you a sufficient substitute?’
A: “Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that.  It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous.  There you will find release from care, boredom and worry.  Your imagination will be fired.  Life will mean something at last.  The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.  Thus we find the fellowship (we share within our autonomous A.A. fellowships), and so will you (in an autonomous spiritual entity of your own).”  (“Alcoholics Anonymous“, page 152)

Some of us used to believe sobriety might be a solution for our problems.  We knew we did not have drinking troubles while sober, of course, but sobriety had become just as unbearable as our drinking.  Consider:

S.O.B.E.R.  =  Son Of a Buck, Everything is Real!

We who used to drink for the effect needed something much greater than sobriety, and we knew that.  So, what makes the difference today?  Spiritual fellowship, and we experience that by taking, by living and by sharing the Twelve Steps that can facilitate permanent recovery.

Many people who know little of that actual experience might try to convince you sobriety either is or can be very beautiful and wonderful all in itself.  They typically begin their days with something like “Don’t drink, no matter what”…and then they end even their worst days with a bit of moral or philosophical comfort (while patting themselves on the back for not drinking and) while saying something like, “There is no day so bad that a drink would not make it worse…”

…then they all nod and try to smile a bit as if something so painfully obvious is somehow actually profound…and it is not our intent to sound cynical or sarcastic here.  Rather, it is a simple fact that we could never have continued to live that way without eventually drinking again…and actually, neither can many of them.  No, and just as we hope those folks might yet discover, we needed much more than mere sobriety.  If sobriety had been enough to treat our alcoholism, detox would have released us from our alcoholic troubles.  So, and as we have learned…

“Choose your path for its destination and not by the depth of its rut.”  –unknown

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