From the October 1989 magazine.

Unconditional Sobriety

Then I might as well be drunk!" A shocking statement? Yes, but one that I have heard repeatedly at meetings, which concerns me. For example: "I did not come to AA to stay miserable and unhappy. If I'm not going to enjoy life now that I'm sober then I might as well be drunk." Or, "I did not get sober to continue wallowing in self-pity or else I might as well be drinking."

A careless statement? Perhaps, and one that is certainly risky. Granted, being dry and living sober are on opposite ends of the spectrum and on the surface, such a comment can sound quite healthy, meaning: "Snap out of it!" or "Happiness is a choice!" or "Quit acting like a drunk!" or "Misery is optional!" But that meaning is far too often misunderstood, especially by newcomers to the program.

-- Lisa A.

Jamestown, New York

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