Tips on Staying Sober

Over 40 years of continuous sobriety doesn’t happen by chance. 

My name is Dan F. and I am an alcoholic.

I was born in San Francisco in 1939 and grew up in the city in the 1940s and 1950s, but was not attracted to alcohol until the mid-1960s. I took my last drink in Washington, D.C. on December 8, 1976.

I have been sober in A.A. over half my life and over half of A.A.’s life. Alcohol did not cause my alcoholism. I was born restless, irritable and discontented, and still am. I have only a daily reprieve based on the maintenance and continuing development of my spiritual condition.

Here is how I stay sober today:

(1) I don’t drink alcohol. I have a fatal medical condition that is not detectable by medical science and that only a daily spiritual awakening can treat. I am not a bad person. I am not responsible for my alcoholism, but I am responsible for its treatment.

(2) I try to use all of the program in all of my affairs on a daily basis: all of the literature, the Twelve Steps, the Twelve Traditions, the Twelve Concepts, the Three Legacies, commitment to home groups and meetings, using a sponsor and/or serving as a sponsor, and carrying the message inside and outside the program.

(3) I try to follow Bill and Bob’s example: meeting with other alcoholics on an equal basis and drawing on assistance from inside and outside the program.

(4) With my two feet solidly planted in A.A., because I am one of the minority of people who cannot safely drink even though I look like a member of the majority who can, I remain open to assistance from whatever direction it comes, just as the first 100 members did in the four and a half years before A.A. became known as A.A.


This article originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of The Point, a publication of the Intercounty Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, San Francisco, CA, USA and has been adapted and re-published here with the author’s permission.