What’s The Point Of Sobriety?

When we come to SA the most important question we can ask ourselves is “What is the point of sobriety?” Maybe we want to strive to “get something back” or to “get something” in the first place — a husband, a wife, a job. Maybe we work to be just “good enough,” mostly sober. Or maybe we just keep coming back to get support for our illness like Roy talks about in Recovery Continues (p67).

The Big Book states, “We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. You may be aiding in his destruction rather than his recovery … To spend too much time on any one person is to deny some other sexaholic the opportunity to live and be happy” (p96). This is why my sponsor let go of me, because I did not work the program for almost 6 years. Today I have over 13 years of sobriety.

But, some people come to SA completely broken and are willing to go to any lengths to stay sober regardless of anyone or anything. And they stay, and they obtain long-term sobriety.

In the Dec 1999 issue of the Essay Magazine, Roy K. clarifies what progressive victory over lust means. As we get sober, we begin to discover new forms of lust, different from our primary form of acting out. Once we discover these other forms of lust progressively, then we come to an even deeper surrender. Roy says: “This legitimate use of the word ‘progressive’ is the very process of discovery…. The misuse of our expression ‘progressive victory over lust’ is when we confuse it with our encounter in the moment of temptation, seeing the image in the corner of our eye, for example. In that instant, there is no such thing as progressive victory. We either drink or we don’t drink. Think about it. Man, can we ever let our own ‘progressive victory’ wording cover a multitude of sins.”

I have come to the conclusion that sobriety for a sexaholic is an end in itself. It has nothing to do with fringe benefits. What is the point of sobriety? The point of sobriety is life. It is as simple and fundamental and encompassing as that. And there will come a time when life seems to have taken everything and at that time sobriety has to be enough. Yet the great paradox of the program is that it promises more than sobriety, it promises that we can find a power greater than ourselves and that we can become happy, joyous, and free. That is why we take the steps: to build a true mansion of recovery on top of our foundation called sobriety.

Steve C., San Diego, USA

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