By M. Alexander
Isn’t that it? Do I have to do anything else? I just won’t drink or use and then I will be sober. WRONG! This is one of the biggest misconceptions about drug addiction. People ask me “why can’t you just stop?” Because I do not know how to live without altering my mind and my body. I do not understand normal coping mechanisms. Not only do I use to stuff my feelings, but I also use so that I have the ability to feel. It is a double-edged sword. I use to wake up and I use to go to sleep. I use to go to work and I use so that I can skip work.
Sobriety is impossible without implementing coping skills beyond “don’t drink or use no matter what”. Yes, this is the rule that underlies the rest of the tools that I will list below, but it is impossible without the rest of the mechanisms that enable it to run. It would be like a car with no gas, no steering wheel, and no engine. From the outside it may look like a vehicle, but once I am inside of the car (figuratively and often literally the prison of a dry drunk) the only thing I can do is push it off a cliff. So here is a list of some other tools I use that can turn the lemon into lemonade.
- Be Mindful of My Get Down. Know what it is that I am doing, thinking, and feeling.
- Rigorous Honesty. Silence in the face of a lie is the same as dishonesty.
- Be of Service. Helping someone else gives me a reason to stay sober.
- Community, Community, Community.
- Surround Myself with the Winners. Good people will have a positive influence on me.
- Sleep well.
- Eat well.
- Talk About My Problems. Get over the notion that real men don’t talk about their problems, man up, and have a good conversation.
- Therapy. I have a sick mind.
- Spirituality. I have a sick soul.
- Get a Sponsor.
- There is no elevator to recovery. There are steps. No easy way out. No shortcut.