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Identity is the Key to Staying Sober

I promised you the secret to staying sober and I  realize I left you hanging. I hope you took the time to consider my suggestion. I asked you to pause and look within and define sober for yourself. Is it abstaining completely from something that has constantly kept you from achieving you true potential? Is it practicing a chosen behavior less or switching to another?


Isn’t that up to you to decide? Truly, does any given behavior have the ability to give you peace within yourself and create harmony with other people? Do we help others or at least not hurt them when they cross our paths? Do we treat our bodies properly? For as far as I know, we aren’t getting another. The word sober, I believe, has gotten used way out of context especially in the rooms of AA, in treatment centers, or with our families.


Many people used substances to mask some sort of pain, whether it be mental, physical, spiritual, or psychological. Whether to escape or avoid pain, many people have found themselves isolated by any behavior that becomes obsessive or compulsive due to its varied beginning characteristics. The next thing we know is we are alone with that thing that destroys us whether it be sex, drugs, or rock and roll. I believe the alone part is the key element to sobriety. Sobriety of mind, not wanting escape from our lonely existence, comes from building a life that we have always wanted.




Examining the experiment that Canadian scientist Bruce K. Alexander and his colleagues did in 1981 to study addiction makes clear representation of what I mean by building a life worth living essentially. The rat in the experiment died in the cage alone with what he found himself alone with, the drugged water.


Many of us do the same thing. We end up alone without connection, purpose, or meaning. Why not distract with whatever we have left? Getting sober for us is to add things into our lives besides the things that are killing us. We finally start looking at our core and finding who we are and what we wanted to be ever since we can remember.

We start looking into our identity.


We learn to stop gripping so tight to things that can be taken away. What if we put everything into “one basket,” and that basket gets taken or lost? What happens when we grip tight to a job or relationship and lose it? We remove the mask finally and see who we are underneath it all. Whatever we identified ourselves with that was external and is now gone for whatever reason.


What if that was all we had and we identified as Joe, the lawyer or Bill the unemployed boyfriend who lives with his parents? Suddenly Bill’s parents die or Joe gets his second DUI and loses his license to practice law.

That thing that either one had placed every ounce of attention and passion in and than he lost. Does he give up at life and then seek to run from his problems? Or is it his chance to build a new?


No matter where you find yourself today, getting sober of mind, body, and spirit is to treat yourself right and find out who you are. Build a life that you wanted long before the desire to distract yourself started, no matter what the reason.

If you begin to actually start using the sober mind to drive sober decisions that are congruent with who you really are, you will start to have peace. I can guarantee it.


If you woke up today, you can go do something different. The secret to staying sober is finding out who you are, what got you here, and what you can offer the world with your unique story.Most importantly, what would you do with your life if you could do it for free and not have any stress of having to pay bills, “barely make it,” or  having to hustle to get by? What is that deep down dream? What is thar one thing you would do if you could?


Would you teach kids to fish because the best feeling you ever had was when grandpa taught you and your ideal utopia is to feel that feeling forever? Is it to climb the Himalayas? Perhaps, you should try climbing on a treadmill as a means of heading in that direction.


Pick your thing and go towards it now that you are sober minded, clear, and aware of what you really want. Do something now and go towards “your thing.” If you start there and get moving, you will be on the road to staying sober…no longer alone with oblivion suddenly by overdose or on the suicide installment plan via fast food and ice cream.


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