Wisdom from Alcoholics Anonymous – Doing Sobriety the Right Way for You

Coffe cups and Hands Wisdom from Alcoholics Anonymous doing Sobriety Right

When I first stopped drinking, I was concerned that without working the 12 steps I wasn’t doing sobriety right. Eventually there were people who told me that I wasn’t doing sobriety right because I hadn’t added meditation and yoga to my routine. Some people who stayed sober by attending Alcoholics Anonymous, meditating, or doing yoga, suggested that the sobriety work I was doing, editing and writing for this blog and interacting daily in an online community was somehow a replacement addiction and once again I was not doing sobriety right. I was also warned not to eat too much sugar because that might be a replacement addiction…maybe I wasn’t exercising enough… maybe this was wrong and that was wrong and I should do what they do. There are many people out there who think that there is one way to do sobriety right and they will be more than happy to tell you how to do it.

What I have learned in my 5 and a half years sober is that the way to do sobriety right is to find out what works for you. Breaking out of having alcohol control you is all about figuring out you – you as an individual- your way – your ideals. Some people do find that in Alcoholics Anonymous but others find that AA is not THE way. There is no THE way. Ask questions, dig deep, share your story in a safe place with others who are sharing with you, learn and grow and live and find your peace and your empowerment.

Joining Alcoholics Anonymous was not the path that I chose to sobriety and five years later I am thrilled to know that that was ok. I’m thrilled that it turned out to be just fine to take my own path, and taking my own path, allowed me to really own my sobriety. But I have learned a lot from the wisdom of AA through reading about other peoples experience of it. The following is a selection of favorite quotes from AA meetings shared with me by a friend in my online community. The blue links following the quotes are posts from our Boozemusings Blog.

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Today I will try just a bit harder. Today I will take one step towards healing. When today comes to an end I will have a yesterday behind me and a new day ahead.

“In hindsight, we often see that the worst things turned out to hold the finest gifts.” The Gift

“Bring on the mistakes and misconceptions. That’s where I learn the most about myself and life.”

“Anger, fear, isolate, drink and use. Repeat.” When I was Drinking I was Afraid

“At first I wanted to cut away the past like a cancerous tumor but now I see the value in every experience. The darkness of the past becomes a priceless gift because it holds the key to healing for others.” Who Am I

“I have discovered that it is impossible to be in fear and gratitude at the same time. When nothing else will stop the train of my negative thoughts, moving into gratitude works every damn time.”

“We need to grow or we will deteriorate, but we don’t have to achieve everything all at once. We can trust and have faith in the progression. That excites me!” Breath and Allow

“It’s usually easier to get sober than stay that way.” Holding onto the Sober Rope

“It’s more important to enjoy the day or at least get through with grace than to look like someone on the cover of a magazine.”

“Some of us have to get used to living in quieter places with softer sounds and so much less drama.” I Choose Life, This hour, This minute, This day

“I hate not doing well in life and I hate asking for help. I know, I know, that’s completely unique to me.” Vulnerability and Surviving Early Sobriety

“When you continue doing things that are harmful to your health and destroying the good in your life, you are going to hate yourself. Period.”

“I had given up, just figured I would drink to the end of my days and that’s how I would die, something alcohol-related.” Alcohol Kills

“We need to learn gratitude for the ones who hurt us, broke our hearts, betrayed us. They are also the ones who taught us how to do things differently.”

“My new F word is forgiveness.” The Sober Journey off the Shame Train and onto the Freedom Trail

“Fear came with me right out of the womb. My daily mantra is that I am safe, I am loved, and I am courageous.” Finding the Courage to be Vulnerable – An Online Alternative to AA

“The very thought that my drinking days are over puts a smile on my face and a little tickle in my belly.” Is Sobriety a Drag or is it the Ultimate Freedom?

“I got sober at 46 and was devastated that I wouldn’t be able to drink at my daughter’s wedding. I didn’t even have any kids.”

“Look around and you’ll see that most people are medicating one way or another.” Alcohol Related Deaths are up 100% in Twenty years

“For me, alcohol was artificial love.” Filling the Empty Space in Early Sobriety

“People saw me as a light drinker, one beer, maybe two. They never saw the half-pint I drank before. I had so many bottles hidden in so many places that I was still finding them six months into sobriety.” The Lies I Told

“I had never learned to be in touch with what was inside of me.”

“I did what others expected of me instead of making the right choices for myself.” How Do You Stay Sober When Your Friends Encourage You to Drink?

“I am so grateful to be living from a place of creativity and serenity instead of anxiety, fear, and survival.”

“I was an expert at Impression Management. How I looked, how you saw me, was more important than how I felt inside.” Feeling Everything

“Whenever anyone said anything critical about me I was crushed, deflated, devastated. Those feelings still come up but I can move through them quickly now.”

“My full mind came back about four years into sobriety.” 4 Years Sober – From Alcohol Dependant to Loving Living Alcohol Free

“Something about giving up all the excuses was so scary in the beginning, it terrified me.”

“I never learned healthy self care. I would go to the wall and then through it. I was always exhausted, depleted, and resentful.” Learning Self-Care in Early Sobriety

”My ability to be tolerant with others has everything to do with how closely I’m sticking to my own business.”

“I had so many terrible feelings inside of me and drinking was the only way I knew to get some relief.” The Alcohol and Depression Rollercoaster

“I didn’t know that I was depressed until I stopped drinking. I had to open my heart and feel everything and then share what I felt.” Walking From Darkness Into Light

“The beginning of my sobriety was no prettier than the end of my drinking. I wanted to stay drunk because I didn’t want to be new again. I didn’t love myself that much yet.” Burnout and Depression in Early Sobriety

“My challenges today are all luxury problems.”

“At rehab my parents spent a lot of money to hear that I’m a people-pleaser with low self-esteem.” My Long Journey to Sobriety and the Three D’s I Learned in Alcohol Rehab

“My head is a dangerous neighborhood and I’m the meanest bully in it.”

“Funny how we try to prove to ourselves that we don’t really have a drinking problem by drinking.” Top Ten Lies Drinkers tell Themselves and Others

“MY MOJO IS BACK!!” (a shout from a 77-year-old woman)

“What needed to be resurrected in me? Courage, vision, confidence, humility.” Humility, Gurrrl Power and Sober Badassery

“The “soul hangover” is the worst, where every part of your being throbs with self-loathing.” No More Hangovers No More Shame

“Just one drink will take me to a place where I don’t want to go. And I know that because I’ve been there so many times.” I Drink Because …

“I just keep doing my best. Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it’s great.”

“Very often beneath that first Pink Cloud lies a deeper sense of reality, an invitation to deal with the underlying reasons for the drinking.” Beyond the Pink Cloud – Living Sober

“After 30 years of sobriety, I can still get up to my ears in alligators. I talk about things when I’m hurting. If something big happens, I let someone know I’m in crisis right away.”

“I was told in rehab that I have no impulse control. It has taken time to learn how to close my eyes and observe and consciously make the healthy choice.” Learning to Meditate – Transcendental Meditation, Awareness and Emotional Regulation

“If I hang around the dark places in my mind long enough, I end up with a case of the f*ck-its, the most dangerous place of them all.”
The Fuck it Bucket

“Instead of living each day in fear, anxiety, and muddle, I can sense those things coming on. I’m grounded in a foundation of serenity and balance.” A 5 Year Sober a Journey to Serenity

“Perfectionism is a disease in its own right.”

“My recipe for mental health: Just for today, don’t charge in, rescue, fix, control, or obsess.”

“Get out of yourself, look up at the sky, smell the air, be in the moment.” Be Here Now

“I used to go crazy trying to be the perfect hostess with decorations, gifts, place cards, and an elaborate menu. Then I would be exhausted and filled with resentment. Half of them didn’t notice and the other half failed to give me the praise I so richly deserved.” The Simplicity of How This Mom Finally Stopped Drinking

“Big changes can be rocky, whether we see them as good or bad. Even sober, they call forth all our faith and courage.” Breaking Free

“Fear comes from the past and anxiety is tied to the future. I’m learning to keep my head where my feet are.”

“Sobriety helped me realize how much of my life was tied up in fear. Today I have a knowing that all will be okay. The fear still exists but the knowing is stronger.Sobriety is a Portal

“My happiness depends upon my level of expectation, including what I expect from myself. My goal is having no expectations, only intentions, and be present to each and every moment.”

“I apologize to my husband more often but I also speak my truth.” Is Alcohol Disolving Your Relationships

“Every time life gives me an opportunity to do something the same way, it gives me the opportunity to make a different choice.” There is no Truth

“When my grandkids get tired and cranky, I know they need some quiet time and some holding. I’m learning to do those things for myself.”

“When my teenage daughter gets upset about someone’s behavior, I tell her to walk out to the curb and spit it out. I do the same thing and some days, it takes more than one trip.”

“I don’t like my wife’s family but today I can be nice to them. That IS a miracle.”

“I’ve changed the steps to the dance and now my husband is struggling. He’s still in the old pattern and trying to figure out how to dance with this new person.” Dance Like No One is Watching – Celebrate with Style Alcohol Free

“My serenity depends on my relationship with myself. When I am beating myself up, I find fault with everyone.”

“I give myself time-outs from the busy-ness of life. My life is so much richer now because I no longer run around in crazy circles of commitments and activities.” Redefining ‘Me Time’

“Don’t SHOULD on yourself.”
The Subtle Difference Between Should and Must

“Last week I was in New York City and saw a woman in Times Square, sitting in a chair with a couple of empty chairs beside her and a sign WILLING TO LISTEN. I passed by several times and the chairs were always taken. The need to be heard in our world is huge.” There is no “Quick Fix” – Community is the Cure

“‘I’m so proud of you’ from a daughter just can’t be topped.”
The Simplicity of How This Mom Finally Stopped Drinking

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