There is a saying in the rooms of 12-Step recovery fellowships: “Whatever you put before your sobriety, you will lose.” When we entered into the beginning stages of our recovery, we made the decision that we were willing to go to any lengths to achieve victory over alcohol and drugs. Sometimes, however, we begin to feel better and realize that now that we are not using, we have many new opportunities that were impossible when we were in a state of active addiction. It is easy to lose sight of our recovery when presented with new possibilities, but we cannot allow any of these things to become more important than our sobriety. New jobs, relationships, and opportunities are the gifts we receive from our newfound sobriety. Yet, we cannot allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in them that we allow ourselves to let up on our recovery program. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous warns, “It is easy to let up on a spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. ‘How can I best serve Thee—They will (not mine) be done.’ These are thoughts which must go with us constantly” Our thoughts must always be on our continual spiritual and personal development if we are to remain happy, joyous, and free in our sobriety. It is easy to think that we have earned the right to slack off in our recovery after having been sober for an extended period of time. However, our old feelings—restlessness, irritability, and discontentment—will return and we will be in much greater danger of relapse. In a 2009 GPSOLO article, Relapse After Long-Term Sobriety, Janet Piper Voss, executive director of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, explains “The danger of relapse is always present, even if there are decades of sobriety. Those who are successful at maintaining their sobriety seem to be always mindful of the benefits that have come to them in recovery. Acknowledging those gifts on a daily basis and continuing to focus on a good recovery program, no matter how many years have passed, is the surest way to avoid relapse and maintain the good life of sobriety.” Complacency is dangerous. We must be constantly growing in our recovery and keeping sobriety as our top priority if we are to keep the wonderful life that we have been given by recovery.
Your story can be one of hope, faith, and courage in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help today and take the first steps on the rewarding journey of recovery. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with knowledgeable professionals dedicated to giving you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777