By Rick B.

Rick eloquently and accurately  explains to a newbie what LifeRing is, and what it IS NOT.  “LifeRing is not a pill, or a magic spell, or a secret formula.  LifeRing is
simply an organization of people who share a common goal – sobriety,  and who share some common basic beliefs about how sobriety may be achieved and maintained.”

Jimmy,

I know that embarrassment and frustration very well.  I know the hopeless feeling of continuing to drink after I’d sworn I had to stop, and the fear that my drinking was something beyond my ability to arrest.

Now I know that there was nothing to fear, that sobriety really is achievable, that I don’t have to drink.  You will know these things too.

LifeRing is not a pill, or a magic spell, or a secret formula.  LifeRing is simply an organization of people who share a common goal – sobriety, and who share some common basic beliefs about how sobriety may be achieved and maintained.  We come together any way we can to talk about how our lives are going, what successes or failures we’ve experienced, what works and what doesn’t for us.  We care about each other.  We care about you, Jimmy, you’re here, you’re one of us.

One of the things we believe is that sobriety is completely the responsibility of the individual who wants it.  No Higher Power, no other person, no group or book or slogan can “confer” sobriety on anyone.  Breaking an addiction to booze is hard work, particularly at the beginning.  Nobody can do that hard work for you.  What a group of people can do is share suggestions, moral support, encouragement, and ideas.  What a group of people can’t do is put the bottle down for you.

There’s nothing mysterious about stopping addictive drinking.  People have been doing it for centuries.  Countless books are available which detail what you can expect in terms of physical withdrawal symptoms, the effects of alcohol on your body and your mind, the healing process, and the roles of nutrition, exercise and other life issues in recovery.  LifeRing has available a terrific workbook, “Recovery by Choice”, which many of us have found very useful.  I find reading to be central to my recovery.

So, how can you stop drinking?  My opinion, there are just a few necessary conditions: You must be willing;  You must believe it’s possible;  You must believe it’s what’s you must do for yourself; You must learn what to expect to feel and experience when you quit, or else you’ll likely be discouraged by the discomfort and get drunk;  You must stop choosing to drink…no matter what.

Others will prescribe a different formula.  None of us knows the answer for anyone other than ourselves.  I can tell you what works for me, there’s no guarantee it’ll work for you.  It’s up to you to get started finding out what works for you.  It starts with doing something, anything, other than picking up a drink.  Your head will clear, your thinking will become rational, your body will begin to heal.  If you drink, you start over.

Sobriety can be difficult to achieve.  It gets easier to maintain with practice.  It becomes a way of life, a habit, an attitude.  It’s worth whatever effort is required to get it and keep it.  Sobriety is not likely to result from simply trying to not drink and waiting to see what happens.  Success comes from action an effort, from intentionally taking responsibility and directing your own life.

So, how does LifeRing work?  Well, it doesn’t “work”…people work.  LifeRing is a community of people bound by a common belief in the free will of every human being.  We are not powerless…quite the contrary.  The only thing in the universe that can get Jimmy sober and keep him that way is Jimmy.  LifeRing is a place to find folks who’ve done it, folks who’re trying to do it, folks who want to do it.

Tell us about you, Jimmy…your life, your work, your family, yourself.  Let us get to know you a bit.  And take it easy, you can do this if you want to, but it’ll take some time and maybe a few tries to get a good solid start…you’ll figure it out.  We’ll do all we can to help you find your way.

Rick

Posted 01/07/03