Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published March 2011.

On Adolescence Avenue

Getting sober gave him the chance to mature emotionally

Wouldn’t it be great if emotional sobriety came with physical sobriety? Sort of package deal, a twofer—If you have one you get the other, no extra work, no sweat. Then I would be free from alcohol and automatically know how to act, how to feel, how to think and how to react in every given situation. I would be filled with insight and maturity. When I came to AA I was so filled with myself there was no room for insight or maturity. I was still an impulsive child banging my fist on my high chair, and challenged by the wonder of being sober and staying sober. Where was emotional sobriety going to fit in? Well, I was going to find out.

With the passage of AA time I heard this term “emotional sobriety” and asked, just like a child would, “What’s that?” Someone directed me to a letter by Bill W. on the topic of emotional sobriety—“ … much more real maturity and balance (which is to say, humility) in our relations with ourselves, with our fellows and with God.” When I read those words I knew that’s what I wanted and needed to harmonize my physical sobriety. But, more work was ahead for me, a lot more.

-- William G.

El Cajon, California

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