Going to Any Length
“If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any lengthto get it, then you are ready to take certain steps.”– Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 58 of the “Big Book”
How willing are you to obtain and keep your sobriety? Are you willing to go to “any length?”
When I was asked this question in early sobriety, it helped me to reflect upon all the ways I was willing to keep feeding my addiction to alcohol. I would literally go to “any length” to get drunk, even though it was ruining my life. I would lie and steal from my family, friends, and strangers. If someone left a half-empty bottle of wine outside a hotel room, or on a table at a restaurant, I would snatch it and try to finish it off before anyone noticed. I would sneak flasks into every wedding I ever attended (even weddings with open bars) just in case they ran out of liquor. I lost my job, my health, and my sanity – but I was still willing to go to any length to keep drinking… even if I had to sneak alcohol into a 30-day treatment center… even if I had to walk 5 miles to get to a convenient store… and even if the only alcohol I could find was from the tiny bottle of vanilla extract that I used to bake cookies.
When I finally conceded to my innermost self that I was an alcoholic, I knew I had to put sobriety over everything else if I was going to stay sober. I had to make the program of action outlined in the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous my #1 priority… or I would end up drunk again.
No part of me wanted to end up in a place like sober living. But after 90 days of treatment, I knew that sober living would give me the best environment, accountability, and opportunities to work an honest recovery program. While I was in sober living, I met life-long friends, and obtained the sponsor I still have today. I adopted and cultivated spiritual habits that I still practice daily. My family and friends didn’t have to worry about “policing” me, and if I ever felt down, I had a built-in support system to cheer me up.
If you are considering sober living, but something (anything!) is still holding you back, remind yourself how willing you were to go to any length to feed your addiction… perhaps this will allow you to re-think your view on sober living. Put yourself in the best position to recover, stay willing, and watch the miracle happen!