One word that likely appears more in the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous than any other is action. We alcoholics and addicts are often incredibly gifted at formulating plans to improve our lives. But when it comes to actually putting these plans into motion, we often stall. It is no surprise then that the phrase “faith without works is dead” appears throughout the book as well.
“But this is not all. There is action and more action. ‘Faith without works is dead.’”
– Alcoholics Anonymous, page 88
This simply means having just faith alone, without any action behind it, will result in absolutely no change. The often-repeated analogy of this heard in meetings is the man who sits in his room, day in and day out, praying for food. Surely he will starve! The following is a list of some of the actions we can take to achieve long-term sobriety.
Finding a local treatment center
The first thirty days of recovery are, quite simply, some of the most difficult days we will have to face. Detoxing is nearly always brutal, and even fatal with certain substances. Detoxing in a safe environment with medical professionals on hand to help with withdrawal symptoms greatly increases the odds of succeeding the early phase of sobriety.
“Now we need more action, without which we find that ‘Faith without works is dead.’”
-Alcoholics Anonymous, page 76
Making the commitment to attend a 90-in-90
A 90-90 refers to attending 90 meetings in 90 days. For those just leaving a treatment center, this action is absolutely crucial to achieving long-term sobriety. This will provide the perfect introduction to recovery, and weeding out which meetings the newcomer finds preferable or not.
Join a homegroup
A homegroup is simply a meeting that the newcomer found particularly enjoyable, and which he/she would like to attend on a weekly basis. This is crucial for developing accountability, as the newcomer will interact with the other homegroup members on a weekly basis. Joining a homegroup provides an excellent opportunity for the newcomer to develop a support group who will always be there for them when sobriety gets difficult.
Find a sponsor
Sobriety requires us to adopt an entirely new way of life and thinking. The prospect of embracing this change alone would be nearly impossible. Therefore, having a sponsor to guide us through recovery is utterly essential. Once the newcomer has a sponsor, he or she can begin to work through the twelve steps of recovery, which relieve us of our drinking/drug problem.
Get into service work
It does not matter if we have one day or fifty years sober, we can all do service work. Service work is essential to keeping the fellowship alive and achieving long-term sobriety. Newcomers can perform simple tasks, such as making coffee, greeting people at the door, or setting up chairs. This gradually increases the longer we stick around- in no time, we are chairing meetings, speaking at meetings, and sponsoring newcomers of our own.
This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.