There are three phrases that us alcoholics like to use to help keep us on the right path in our sobriety. They are very simple phrases, with HUGE meanings behind them. Keeping these phrases in the forefront of our minds in addition to using whatever tools we’ve been given in our recovery programs really does help
“LIVE AND LET LIVE”
This is the easiest to understand, but not the easiest to practice. It basically means we need to live our lives and let other people live theirs. They are gonna do what they are gonna do, say what they wanna say, live how they wanna live. We can’t control them, we can only control ourselves. We can’t let the actions or words of others to get under our skin and ruin our lives. This is difficult for a newcomer in sobriety, but as time goes on, it gets easier. Anger and resentment are very dangerous to us and allowing others to get under our skin can and will most certainly lead us back to the bottle in time.
If you waste your time and energy being concerned or pissed off about the actions of another person, where does that leave YOU with your own life? It eats you up from the inside and focusing on your happiness becomes harder and harder. Live and let live reminds us that we are now living a sober life, we have found happiness and peace. Our lives is ours to live and another person’s is theirs regardless of what they choose to do with it.
“FIRST THINGS FIRST”
Not drinking is the first order of business for us. Anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. This is strictly a matter of survival for us. We have learned that alcoholism is a killer disease, leading to death in a large number of ways. We prefer not to activate that disease by risking a drink.
(Living Sober # 13 page 32)
This phrase reminds us of two very important things. The first is that our sobriety MUST come before family members, children, jobs, everything. If we do not put our sobriety first we will be sure to lose it. Then what good will we be to those same family members, children and jobs??? We have proven time after time that we are not good to anyone when we’re drinking. Therefore we must put our sobriety ahead of everything else because if we don’t, we won’t stay sober long. The first thing we put before our sobriety will be the last thing we lose It also means that no matter what we may be going through at any given moment, no matter how traumatizing, upsetting or irritating something might be, we can’t take that first drink. As long as we do not put that first drink into our systems, we are sure not to wake up the disease that will forever lay within us. The first one is what sets off a Domino effect. Once we take that first one, we lose all ability to stop. We all know how that ends up don’t we?
“EASY DOES IT”
This is one way that we remind each other that many of us have tendencies at times to overdo things, to rush heedlessly along impatient with anything that slows us down. We find it hard to relax and savor life. (Living Sober # 18 page43)
When we are out there in active alcoholism, we live wild, uncontrollable lifestyles. Our only concern is to drink and party. There’s nothing enjoyable about our lives if it doesn’t include alcohol. (True story) We want what we want when we want it and the only time we ever take a breather is when we are passed out cold. Sobriety gives us a new way of thinking, a new way of doing things and gives us the ability to LIVE and ENJOY life. Things slow down to a much normal place. However comma…it takes us some time adjust to “pumping the breaks” Some of us longer than others. We don’t know how to live at a normal pace. Normality is something that we have never done so it’s an adjustment to say the least.
I’m proof of that, it wasn’t until just past my fourth year that I started thinking about slowing things down…Oh I talked about it for years, but didn’t actually start to DO it till this year. When I first got sober and the blinders were removed, I felt like I had a lot of catching up to do and a lot to prove. I was like the Energizer Bunny that never ran down. I’m just now starting to comprehend the term “Easy does it” It’s a day by day process and as long as I make an honest effort, I’ll get it.
Those three phases help us stay in tune with our sobriety. We’re not always successful, but we are a work in progress day by day.
AJ Menendez, Master Male Illusionist