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Sometimes it's good enough just to be sober

Dov sent me the following chat below and wrote: I saw the name "J" in my 'Google Friends' list and did not know who he was, so I chatted to him to find out - and this is how it unfolded:

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Dov: Hello?

J: Hi. I'm reading the Chizuk e-mail right now. I've been having a real rough day today, the worst in months, and have been making lots of calls. I think it's tremendous siyata dishmaya that you contacted me, particularly today, which has been brutal. Any words of chizuk? I feel like I'm white knuckling it without achieving the promises of the program.

Dov: Gevalt. We need to be sober. It's so difficult sometimes... and it's just the minimum basic requirement for having a normal life today! But it's still so hard to want to do some days. Nu. That's the way it is. You are not alone, at all.

J: The "Daily Dose of Dov" I was reading in the e-mail speaks about changing the way I live. I'm trying to, but feel POWERLESS to achieve it on my own. I want to be serene and balanced and connected, but it just aint going!

Dov: Nu. Take it easy. Some days we see absolutely nothing - no progress, no beauty in our lives. But it is a privilege to just be sober today.

J: I see. Basically you wrote in the "Daily Dose" that we need to change our way of living or we will eventually act out.

Dov: Yeah, the old-timers say, "if sobriety is all there is, I'm not interested!"... but that's the general derech. For bad days, we need to switch to the 'extra tank' - the one that says to us that "if sobriety is all there is, it is still worth it". At least that's my opinion.

J: Dov, bottom line, I see myself as a disconnected, lonely person, self-obsessed and full of character defects, fears and all the eser makkos. I have very little faith that anything can give me a real fix, including the program. I need G-d to do that but I've asked him to for 30 years with almost no change. Question: will I have the life I am looking for??????? In other words, I can see the program helping people be sober, but it is much harder to see the program fixing people inside.

Dov: It can be even better than what you are looking for. I have seen a ton of 'fixing inside' happen. Often, the people themselves do not recognize it, because they live with themselves every day (and so it's hard to see the slow change they undergo). But at least until you have really worked the steps (and especially come to rely on 4-7 at least every now and then), do not expect to grow very much.

J: Ok, I am still holding by step three with my sponsor

Dov: Don't get me wrong - people grow a lot just from sitting on their hands and not touching themselves too! ... but not very much... and it gets boring soon. The pink cloud goes and life is hard. It really is. The steps are indispensable, and if an addict in recovery is not depending on the steps to get by, It's hard to see hope for any growth at all in the long run.

J: Okay, thank you, you've made me feel better, knowing that I might not be seeing the results I want because I haven't done the work yet. It really has lifted my spirits, thank you! I really need G'd's help, and I need him to do for me things which I am not even sure what they are! But according to what you're saying, I can look forward to that happening, and I will.

Dov: You are welcome. Good night.

J: Thanks, I really think you were sent from Heaven to contact me on this particular day, (incidentally this is the first time you've done so). Coincidence? I doubt it... Take care and all the best.