The more I learn about sobriety – the more I see two different fronts in my battle against addiction. The short-term (don’t drink) and the long-term (do recovery).
- Abstaining from the chemical alcohol. This is the battle for psychical sobriety.
- Learning to manage life without the behaviors of an addict. This is the battle for emotional sobriety.
- This happens when we work a recovery pathway, like the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous. We learn a new way of life where alcohol simply doesn’t have any appeal.
Since I’m all about violent metaphors, I think you can see two military tactics at work.
Stage one is our Fabian strategy
The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employing this strategy harasses its enemy through skirmishes to cause attrition, disrupt supply and affect morale. Employment of this strategy implies that the side adopting this strategy believes time is on its side, but it may also be adopted when no feasible alternative strategy can be devised. [Wikipedia]
I think that describes living one day at time, “Just for today I’m not drinking.”
- There is no way to smash our addiction in one decisive battle. So we wear him day with small wins everyday we don’t drink.
- By removing the chemical, we disrupt addiction’s resources. We slowly render it less powerful.
- Time is on our side, relapse can happen but quality sober time gives us a better position to finally win the war.
Stage two is our Counter offensive.
A counter-offensive is the term used by the military to describe large-scale, usually strategic offensive operations by forces that had successfully halted the enemy’s offensive, while occupying defensive positions. [Wikipedia]
I think this describes the work of our recovery programs.
- We go right after addictions strongholds. The moral inventory strategically hits back at the enemies base camp – all those nasty parts of our personality that were exploited by alcoholism.
- The work must keep advancing to maintain the gains. That’s why my sponsor is keeping me on the attack. We want to smash the enemy to prevent future attacks.
What do you think?
This post may be me dorking out a little, but it was a fun connection for me. Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. Do you agree with the two main stages I listed above? What would you add to the descriptions?