Sunday, November 2, 2014

Just Like Fitness, AA does not just happen, it requires some WORK !

There seems to be this confusion about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that simply joining and not drinking will make you sober. Because fitness is my passion, I am always finding parallels between fitness and sobriety. Just like fitness, sobriety will improve your interior condition and your exterior appearance. For simplification lets agree that fitness is for your body and AA is for your mind and spirit. It is probably a good idea that you pursue all three areas when eliminating alcohol from your life. Even the AA triangle stands for mind, body, spirit.

So joining AA is the equivalent of joining a gym. I think most people intrinsically understand that in order to make changes you need to put in work. I am surprised how often people think that just showing up in the meetings is enough. If you go the gym you may see some people getting fit and you may even talk to people who can give you suggestions about getting fit. Just like nobody gets fit walking through the door and sitting around, sobriety is going to take some work. Also, nobody spontaneously becomes sober just by walking in the door. The equivalents are endless and there are countless things you can do to work out or “work the program:”
  1. Joining AA= Joining a Gym (great first step) 
  2. Showing up at Meetings= Going into the Gym (nothing will happen if you don’t go) 
  3. Active Participation in the Meeting = Trying to Work Out / Using Equipment (participate, get moving) 
  4. Big Book = Countless Books and Articles about Fitness (there is no one way to get fit but there are basics, learn them) 
  5. AA Community = Other People in the Gym (get to know them and you will have friends with common goals ) 
  6. Therapist = Trainer (sometimes it’s overwhelming and a professional can really help guide you) 
  7. Sponsor = Advanced Training Partner (at some point you want to push yourself beyond sticking points and learn more from an experienced member) 
  8. 12 Step = Continued Participation (fitness improves, you help others get fit and become the experienced member) 

Just like there is no one way to work out, there is no one perfect way to work the program. As you become familiar with the environment and meet new people you will learn new skills and techniques to improve. Only suntans happen by just showing up and sitting around. Everything else and especially the things worth having will require some work. The best part is that the benefits of both pursuits will begin to show quickly and the process becomes its own reward. I encourage everyone to decide what they want from life, make some decisions and GET TO WORK !

Tuesday, August 5, 2014