Recovery: Living Sober Book by Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent resource if you want to learn how to maintain long-term sobriety. In this three part series, I will present summaries of many of the concepts put forth in this book. It’s only 90 pages, and packed with excellent advice.
It contains, as the subtitle states, “Some methods A.A. members have used for not drinking.” What I like most about this book is, even if you are not immersed in recovery through regular A.A. Meetings and the sub-culture, you can still benefit tremendously from Living Sober.Read The Entire Booklet Here
1. Staying Away From the First Drink
Many of us have come to believe that our alcoholism is an addiction to the drug alcohol; like addicts of any sort who want to maintain recovery, we have to keep away from the first dose of the drug we have become addicted to.
2. Using The 24 Hour Plan
The 24-hour plan is very flexible. We can start it afresh at any time, wherever we are. At home, at work, in a bar or in a hospital room, at 4:00 p.m. or at 3:00 a.m., we can decide right then not to take a drink during the forthcoming 24 hours, or five minutes. Once the idea has become part of our thinking, we find that living life in 24-hour segments is an effective and satisfying way to handle many other matters as well.
3. What To Remember About Alcoholism
We remember we have an incurable, potentially fatal ailment called alcoholism. And instead of persisting in drinking, we prefer to figure out, and use, enjoyable ways of living without alcohol. We remember that alcoholism is incurable–just like some other illnesses. It cannot be “cured” in this sense: We cannot change our body chemistry and go back to being the normal, moderate social drinkers lots of us seemed to be in our youth.
4. “Live and Let Live”
We must face this fact: There are people in A.A., and everywhere else, who sometimes say things we disagree with, or do things we don’t like. Learning to live with differences is essential to our comfort. It is exactly in those cases that we have found it extremely helpful to say to ourselves, “Oh well, ‘Live and Let Live.'”
5. Getting Active
Simply trying to avoid a drink (or not think about one), all by itself, doesn’t seem to be enough. The more we think about the drink we’re trying to keep away from, the more it occupies our mind, of course. And that’s no good. It’s better to get busy with something, almost anything, that will use our mind and channel our energy toward health.
6. Using The Serenity Prayer
Whether we see the Serenity Prayer as an actual prayer or just as a fervent wish, it offers a simple prescription for a healthy emotional life. We’ve put one thing right at the head of the list among “the things we cannot change:” our alcoholism. No matter what we do, we know that tomorrow we won’t suddenly be nonalcoholic–any more than we’ll be ten years younger or six inches taller. Serenity is like a gyroscope that lets us keep our balance no matter what turbulence swirls around us. And that is a state of mind worth aiming for.
7. Changing Old Routines
When you want not to drink, it helps to shake up all those routines that are constant reminders of our days drinking, and change the pieces around. So take your pick. You know what your own drinking pattern has been and how you feel about your sobriety today.
8. Eating or Drinking Something
Many of us have learned that something sweet-tasting, or almost any nourishing food or snack, seems to dampen a bit the desire for a drink. So, from time to time, we remind each other never to get too hungry. So the next time the temptation to drink arises, let’s eat a little, or sip something gooey.
9. Making Use of “Telephone Therapy”
The transition to enjoyment of sobriety sometimes begins when, newly sober, we keep in touch with others equally new at the game. We are usually more at ease with those who, like ourselves, are just setting out toward recovery. Later, it helps to reach for the phone instead of a drink. Even when we don’t think it will work. Even when we don’t want to.