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What if Sobriety was Easy?

I recently had a discussion with someone who runs another sober group. The group is a more specific group in terms of the modality they subscribe to in sobriety. Originally, I joined the group after someone from their group invited me based on my way of thinking and the topics I write about. I connected with their beliefs and felt there were definitely some similarities in our way of thinking. I try to stay involved in the sober community as much as I can so I have joined several different sober groups and I lightly participate in them depending on the topics that come up. One of the things I do is share my blogs in the hopes of reaching a more diverse group of people from a variety of belief systems and modalities. I do this as a way of reaching out and connecting with people, but oftentimes it is considered self-promoting which is discouraged in some of these groups. This is one of the reasons the person removed my blog from the group.

First of all, the idea of self-promoting really gets under my skin and I'll explain why. Self-promotion is a derogatory phrase aimed at people who are trying to make themselves appear more important than they really are. It is considered a negative across the board. The reason this bothers me is I really do not mean to draw attention to myself as much as I am trying to draw attention to some ideas, beliefs, and theories I have come across. The ideas I am trying to draw people's attention to are ideas in direct contrast with some of the more traditional ways of thinking in the sober community. Why is this important? It is important because many of the traditional beliefs about sobriety can be easily argued as antiquated and ineffective in the long term. Unfortunately, these ideas have been around so long they have solidified themselves in the vernacular of our society. When something is this ingrained, it has to be challenged in order to be changed.

We are all on our own journey, and if your path is working for you,

I support you and I wish you nothing but the best of luck

Am I trying to tout myself as a guru in the world of new sobriety? No, but I am trying to express what I have seen and experienced in my own recovery that differs from what I hear from the majority of people I have met in recovery. My ideas and beliefs are not so original as they are revised from other people's beliefs, thoughts, and experiences. When you think about it, most doctrines are derived from other people's experiences. My thoughts and ideas are no different. The difference is, however, in my desire and willingness to challenge the current status quo of sobriety. You may ask yourself, "Why? Why challenge something that has and is working for many people?" Well, it has to do with the current negative verbiage and actions prevalent in the world of recovery.

I consider myself incredibly lucky I did not google sobriety before I made the life-changing decision to quit drinking. If you look at any of the multitudes of sober groups available online, you will find a heavily unbalanced array of posts regarding the absolute difficulty associated with many people's sobriety. While these posts are honest and true experiences from people in recovery, I do not think they would have helped me feel as positive as I do now about sobriety. As I have said many times before, I do not mean to take anything away from anyone's experiences. We are all on our own journey, and if your path is working for you, I support you and I wish you nothing but the best of luck. My concerns are more toward the overabundance of negative language used to describe sobriety and recovery.

I believe sobriety does not have to suck. In fact, I believe sobriety can be

quite amazing and dare I say, easy

Had I came across this language before I began my journey, I do not know if I would have had the same positive journey I have had. I say this because, what we hear from others can influence our own experiences, especially when we hear the same thing over and over and over again. I worry the constant barrage of negativity about sobriety can negatively impact a person's perception of their own experience. Now, I am also aware there are many positive experiences and posts shared as well, but if you really pay attention to the balance, it is skewed heavily in the direction of the struggle. One of the things I am trying my best to promote is the idea of positivity in recovery. I believe the more we hear about positive experiences the more we are apt to have them ourselves. I believe the more we hear sobriety does not have to be so difficult, the better our chances are of not struggling. I believe sobriety does not have to suck. In fact, I believe sobriety can be quite amazing and dare I say, easy. I believe this is possible by simply changing our mindset and that begins with changing the verbiage we use to describe it.

All of this is to suggest while I may technically be self-promoting, I am doing so with the best possible intentions. I just want to reach as many people as I can in the hopes of offering another ideology from which they can choose to incorporate on their own path if it resonates with them. If not, there are many other pathways to sobriety out there too. Honestly, I just want people to know there are other options available to them. Had I heard how difficult sobriety is for most people, before I tried to quit drinking, I may not have even bothered. Instead, I developed my own opinions about the difficulty of sobriety based on my own experience, and I very much prefer the way I now look at sobriety. I figure, if I can have such a drastically different experience, so too can anyone who accepts the possibility. The only way a person can accept the possibility, though, is to know the possibility exists.

What if Sobriety was easy?

The other reason my blog was removed was that this person said it was clear my beliefs were in line with the twelve steps. Excuse me, what? While I try my best to not be negative about anyone's experiences or paths in sobriety, the one thing I do know is my beliefs are not in line with a program in which I have never partaken. The only knowledge I have of the twelve steps is from what I have heard others post from time to time in the sober groups of which I am a member. I have intentionally avoided learning about this doctrine, not because I have anything against it, but because I heard something early on from the program that did not resonate with me on any level. What I heard was the idea that we are forever addicts and we are forever in recovery. I'm sorry, but this is not an ideology to which I subscribe. If you have followed me or my blog for any amount of time, you know I believe in the idea of recovering from our addictions; check out my blog Recovery vs. Recovered. I do not believe we have to forever label ourselves as addicts or in recovery. In fact, I wrote a series of blogs on the idea of Label-Free Sobriety. I like to consider myself as someone who doesn't drink or if we have to label it, alcohol-free because it does not carry the same negative connotations as addict or sober.

Again, if you are from the twelve-step community, I do not mean to take anything away from you or your experience. It just isn't mine and I prefer to not be labeled as such. I believe we all have the ability to write our own program. I believe we can have any experience we want to in recovery. I believe we can pick and choose bits and pieces from everyone's experiences and incorporate those bits and pieces into our own doctrine. If I am truly honest, I have to say I believe we can all experience sobriety as easily as we experience anything else we love. Let's face it, the easiest things in life are the things we truly love. What if we approached sobriety as something we love? Why wouldn't we? It is a period where we can experience, first hand, the reacquisition of our lives. It is a period where we can feel all the firsts of living well again. It is a period where we can fall in love with our partners again. It is a period where we can reconnect with our children again. It is a period where we can truly set goals and begin achieving them again. It is a period where we can live without the constraints of a chemical that has kept us pinned down for the better part of our adult lives. Tell me again why this isn't the most positive and beloved time of your life?

What if sobriety was easy?

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