It’s a lie … there is no quick fix, period

Putting all our focus on “rehab” for long-term sobriety is about as smart as direction mazeputting all our focus on “childbirth” for rearing children. While it is an important step for someone who chooses sobriety, it is foolish to think that a few weeks will have enough impact, let alone create enough momentum, to carry the addict through the long haul (hell) of the early sober months and years.

For starters, most addicts erroneously believe they have one major issue that requires attention—an overdrinking problem. Learning to drink responsibly is in the back of our mind, if we could just drink better our life would be fine.

The alcohol → the problem.
Its removal → the solution.

If only we could learn the technique of alcohol management then we could get back to our otherwise “functioning” life. We clearly do not recognize the magnitude of other unaddressed issues. Nor do we care to learn. The last thing we want is to give up alcohol—forever. We spend most of our early detox days figuring how we are going to make it “work again” once we get out.

For those who do decide to make the commitment to sobriety—and it is a commitment—few will survive if they don’t find support. Additionally, few will flourish in long term sobriety without continued support. It’s not that we are bad people. It’s that we don’t navigate well left to our own devices. For addicts, the consequences of our choices are high. We harm ourself, those who love us, and in some cases people we have never met.

Detox is important, rehab is important, education is important, fellowship is important, but continuing to grow as a person is equally as important. We don’t get sober and get fixed. We get sober and then continue to work on self. The reality of the situation:

Me and how I’ve chosen to function → the problem.
Commitment to personal growth → the solution.
(We don’t like this solution. Nevertheless, it is the solution.)

No one is binding me, shoving booze down my throat. I’m choosing it because I’m too scared to be without it. I’m so afraid of what or who is living inside me that I drink to avoid facing me. I drink to avoid feeling my life. And because I don’t know me I need to drink to deal with you. Because I don’t know you, I don’t know how to deal with you either. And to top this whole project off I am physically addicted to alcohol. This means, I need alcohol to do the simple, basic tasks. You don’t know this so I hide my booze. I hate the hiding, but the pain of hiding is not as bad as the pain of facing me, so I continue to drink and lie and hide and deceive. And this all becomes sadly normal, sickly necessary, and completely acceptable.

This, this you cannot undo in 30 days. I’ve been sober for nine years and I’m still unraveling my thinking. I say this with pride and authenticity. I don’t drink no matter what happens and I commit to growing—every single day I am alive!

I have used many tools to get and stay sober: 12-step, life/recovery coaching, marriage counseling, and psychotherapy. I still use all of them, not because I’m thinking about drinking but because they help me learn how to live an incredible life. And this life I will not trade for any cocktail.

There was no quick fix for the problems I had. There was a little work … every day … toward a goal I said I wanted to achieve.

There is no quick fix for the problems you have. There is a little work … every day … toward a goal you say you want to achieve.

*******

My mission: Outreach, recovery coaching, and education to addicts who choose to be sober, but struggle finding their identity within the context of a sober lifestyle.

Coaching is one avenue, not the avenue!

A qualified coach can help you make a 180° change in the trajectory of your life.

Recovery coaches are not paid sponsors. We are educated, trained, and accredited through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). An accredited ICF coach conducts them self within The ICF Code of Ethics, as well as, The ICF Core Competencies

No Responses to “It’s a lie … there is no quick fix, period

  • One of the (many) reasons I quit drinking was because it was hindering reaching my goals. I worry, though, that if I can’t reach those goals sober I’ll revert. But sobriety has also made me more realistic about my goals, which is good growth as well, I guess. I’m going through all of this alone, two years next month. I feel strength and pride in having done so, but I’m also so grateful to have found people like you in the blogging community to communicate with; two years in, most people around me still look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I don’t drink anymore. Long comment to say thanks for the post.

    • Never a long comment I didn’t enjoy. You are, without doubt, a valuable part of the blogging recovery community. These little tidbits we share are the props that help hold us strong and unite us and our energy to achieve. I am incredibly thankful for your friendship on this blog, as well as, your insights on your blog. It’s a pretty good thing we’ve got going here. If you’re crazy, then I choose crazy.

  • vbocker
    8 years ago

    I don’t know if you remember me but I emailed you for help because I just blew 17 years sobriety. So, a few weeks later I’m still sober and realizing exactly what your post is about. I relapsed because after 16 years of not dealing with my life I started seeing a counselor. I drank because the choice was face it or drink. In the aftermath of that 1 day slip I’ve decided to face it all honestly and not run away. Sobriety feels a lot different! The struggle though for me, is realizing that I will have to pay attention and be proactive every day. Forever. My opinion before was that I had gotten sober. End of story now let’s get on with life. Lesson learned! Thanks for sharing that.

    • Yes, yes I do remember you. You said you found a couple of great women to support you after we last emailed. I am so, so happy for you. I hope you share more of your story with me some time. Reader’s are always curious about folks with long term sobriety that relapsed. Please stay in touch. Thank you so much for saying hi and especially thankful that you hung in there and made the choice to make sobriety work. You made my night. 🙂

  • Excellent post, Lisa. Living every single day is work, but it is the most rewarding occupation. <3 xxx

  • I strongly feel that this post should be reprinted and sent to every rehab in the country. This message is so important, and so undersold, and I speak as one who has participated in both inpatient and outpatient rehab facilities. I truly wish everyone who has had addiction touch their lives could read this. And, post script, it is beautifully written, as always!

  • Yes! Perfectly put. I like to tell people that drinking wasn’t my problem, it was my solution…and a very poor one at that. Just not drinking is abstinence. Recovery / sobriety – that’s the work, and that involves changing how I think, act and behave. But thinking is where it starts, and through my 12-step recovery work, I have been able to slowly (and sometimes, painfully so) change some of the way I think. But like you, I still have my challenges.

    I love how you describe the shame and guilt of being an alcoholic – the hiding of booze, the lies, the deception…all to protect our drinking. These days, I protect my sobriety as fiercely as I did my alcohol use. I have no choice – to drink is to die for this alcoholic. And like you say – there is no quick fix. The want has to come from within, as does the commitment and work. And boy, that work really does transform us. Wow.

    Thanks for the beautiful post. I always look forward to reading your words.

    Paul

  • I think I keep forgetting it’s not about a quick fix, it’s not fast, not immediate, not sudden, it’s a process, and there is where the magic happens, along the journey, not in the blink of an eye, as I sometimes would like.
    Thanks for reminding me of this, Lis. I love your posts and I love you.

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