cool loveI have simply been unwilling to do what needs to be done.

There is no two ways about it.

I have chosen servitude over sovereignty.

The choice to get sober is not drudgery.

The choice to get sober is the choice to love.

Sobriety isn’t about giving up. It has nothing to do with giving up. Sobriety is about gain. We’ve chosen to see lack without a cocktail in hand. It never occurred to us that the cocktail was the loss. How could we have?

The cocktail was the win because then we could experience that within that was otherwise too afraid to express itself. Suffice to say, we never learned to be confident—self-assured while not drinking. It required an altered mind to unlock a measure of who we were.

When we are forced (few volunteer) to cease the drinking we are angered. After all, the drinking is what gave us our liberty. To cease is to suppress our right to choose. And we will spend years, even decades, proving this point to no one.

In the end there will be no winners. There will be loss. There will be slavery to a bottle we love and hate within the same breath. And we will falsely refer to this as giving up.

Willing or unwilling to drink isn’t the choice I face.

Willing or unwilling to find the truth of who I have become, to feel a new emotion, to awaken. These are the choices I am afraid to make.

It is not that others have not chosen to love me.

It is that I have not chosen to love me.

At the core I have chosen loving alcohol over loving me.

It will end this way, unless I am willing to choose something different.

Choose again.

Just for today … I choose to love me.



For those among us who aren’t sure what they believe or where to begin to understand who lives within them.

Ongoing Principles Workshop: Who Am I?

Short Lecture/Group coaching

Friday Nights at Awakenings Bookstore, Laguna Hills

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10 Responses to “Unwilling

  • I love this post! It is a hard switch to make to see sobriety as a gain instead of a lack. I am so new to this sobriety thing (50+ days), but know that the harder I work to make that attitude shift, the easier my life will be. Best, Jen

    • Jen, I think 50+ days was harder than a year. We are so tender, raw. You will find your way. Keep doing what is loving and your life will get stronger. You will build momentum in whichever direction you choose. Even though I have a little (sober) time I still have to stop and decide where to put my energy. Some days are just easier than others. blessings

  • As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not (and never was) an addict of any kind. But, these words just resonate with me. Perhaps because I choose to participate in other equally destructive behaviors that perhaps are not the same as those of an alcoholic, but unhealthy nonetheless.

    Thank you for writing this. I will be back to read it again.


    • Taking Candy,
      I was just at your blog and now I see you were here. 🙂
      It’s interesting the parallels between addicts and non-addicts.
      Our life requires that we change.
      I’m not sure if that’s a blessing in disguise, but I like to think so.
      Your behaviors might be unhealthy, but my behaviors destroy me and those I love.
      A good reason to get willing.
      Lots of love, Me

      • Such a good point. All of them. And I read your blog and can connect and am thankful I wasn’t led down a path of addiction. I don’t know if it was luck or what, but, regardless…we all need to be willing to change…or face that ultimate consequence (whatever that might be).

        Big ideas you are throwing out….so big my head is still wrapping around them.

        Love to you too – always <3

  • I think what you say about this idea of “giving up” alcohol is something very true and I think is a misnomer in society. It’s generally considered a positive thing to give something up – something noble, in fact. People give stuff up for lent, Muslims give up eating and drinking during Ramadan. There is a greater sacrifice and good connotated in this. But for us, we are giving something up that is killing us. I didn’t look at it as giving it up, I looked at is as giving in. You win alcoholism, I surrender. i can’t do this any more. Surrendering gave me the breathing room to feel that desperation and to start my recovery.

    What you say about choosing to love ourselves…wow, this is powerful. Because I chose the love of my life – booze – and it chose me – slave – we became a great match and I left me out of the mix. Today I get to choose to love myself, and the first act in that self-love, was getting sober. And that continues today.

    Thanks for the wonderful words, Lisa.


    • We are always gaining. It’s just that we cannot always see the gain.
      Most often I do not see the gain until some time has passed.
      In light of your current situation, the challenge you face is in seeing the gain.
      I can think of no one else, that is more equipped than you, to bring us this new perspective on life, on recovery.
      lots and lots of love, me

  • I love this post, Lisa. I remember feeling paralyzed by choices when I was drinking so I stopped making them (which of course is a choice). I stopped saying yes, I stopped taking risks of any kind and I stopped making decisions. I remember those early weeks of sobriety vividly as being a series of small choices. Wake up, eat, dress my kids, try to read/work/write. It wasn’t so much choosing not to drink as it was choosing to do other things. I didn’t relate it to choosing to love myself over alcohol until much later but those small, daily choices saved me.

    • yes, I completely understand what you are saying here. I think I see almost every act now as ‘loving or love’s opposite’. It helps me make wiser choices. Often though, when life gets crazy, I get back to the basics like you said. I focus on the small, daily choices and they always save me.

  • When I read this post from the perspective of sobriety, I smile, because I have chosen love, and I am grateful. When I read this post from the perspective of physical fitness, I smile, because, while not perfect, I am more often than not choosing love. But still, there are perspectives from which I read this post and my smile falters, for I am still choosing “love’s opposite.” The difference between my present and my past, however, is that I have faith, and hope, that I will begin to choose love.

    I wish I could fly out to Laguna this Friday! I am with you in spirit…

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