For those of us who suffer from the incurable disease of alcoholism, in all its forms, whether the compulsive consumption of various mind-numbing substances or the penchant for aberrant, dangerous behaviors, the quest for sobriety – physical, emotional, and psychological sobriety – is a life-long exercise. Our genetic make-up or our early life traumas doom us to a lifetime of dealing with this disease.
But the quest for sobriety, a deep seated commitment to pursue the multitudinous avenues to change our behavior, can make for a life of true joy and contentment, despite the remnants of the disease that never go away. In point of fact, our life in sobriety can turn out to be measurably better than that for those who have never experienced this disease.
This is what is to be explored in these notes….for it is clear to the thousands of us who are successfully traversing this path that the life of an ongoing quest for sobriety has no rival in the experience of man.
The pursuit of sobriety is truly a spiritual quest…not unlike the quest for the Holy Grail by Percival and Gawain and the Knights of the Round Table. The commitment to do whatever it takes to achieve and maintain a sober state, the acceptance of our powerlessness to deal with all that happens around us, the embrace of the processes to connect with a higher power in and around us, and the will to deal with people, places and things in a commitment to service, sets us out on a quest to connect with the world in a truly glorious manner.
The Journey is one of choices and discovery…and it mirrors the idea of a Hero’s Journey in very close parallel. From the calling to cross the threshold, a meeting room threshold or a line in the sand signifying the initial commitment, to the journey through an underworld of discoveries and realizations, to the gradual awakening of what the pursuit of sobriety can bring, this Journey is real, personal for each and every one of us, and mythic in its ramifications for us and those around us.
So this note, the first of many, begins a mythic quest of understanding for all of us…what are the elements of a truly deep seated quest for sobriety that will allow for a lifetime of joy and contentment we may never have experienced before, one whose energies and characteristics might resemble the majestic quests of mythology.