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The Alcoholic and the Easier, Softer Way

“Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now.  If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked.  We thought we could find and easier, soft way. But we could not.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 58

We, as alcoholics and addicts, may want to find a way to become sober the easy way, the least painful way; the simplest course of action to bring us to the place where we are no longer imbibing.  We’d like to traverse the path of least resistance to obtain our sobriety.  Many times this is what we want to have happen.  However, as many who have gone before us, we learn that trying to climb the hill of sobriety along a slippery slope of ease and comfort just doesn’t work.  Invariably, we fall back down to the bottom, like Sisyphus and the stone.

Some of our forebearers within the world of Recovery have made examples of themselves, albeit inadvertently, as people who attempted to take the path of least resistance and subsequently failed.  There is a return to using and/or drinking without realizing that by shirking the work, they have inevitably sacrificed their sanity and serenity, and the well being of the people around them.  The hand-waving dismissal of the opportunity for living a richer life built on Recovery is tantamount to the idea of a magic wand quickly waving away the mass destruction created when using and drinking.  It just doesn’t work like that. Our Recovery predecessors have shown us that for near-to-every attempt at sobriety that has been sought working a less than fearless and thorough program seemingly ends up back at the bottle, pouring yet another drink and wondering all the while, why didn’t it work?

With the staff at this California alcohol rehabilitation center, we begin to learn how to follow suggestions with the simplest of tasks.  If we are unable to move forward by making our beds or attending our groups, how can we expect to follow more detailed instructions later?  We must learn to adhere to the simplest suggestions first and then we can proceed further with what may seem like more taxing efforts.  If we don’t start to enact the following of suggestions now, how can we expect to have the results we see others who have followed accordingly become our results when we ourselves are unable to pursue taking on the easiest of responsibilities per another’s direction?

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