Building a Sober Life (Out of Bricks)

three little pigs

I have a Facebook friend named David. He has a pet rabbit and looks a bit like Ira Glass (a look I will admit I admire…) and he voices his opinion on the blog occasionally. I do not know how he became a “friend”, but he seems wise and although we have not spoken of it particularly, he is obviously in recovery.


About a year and a half ago, David commented on a blog post I wrote (a snarky piece where I questioned the concept of sobriety long-term) and he said something bold and daring like, “Sobriety is really quite easy for me. I have built a life where drinking is not an option.” I am paraphrasing, but you get the picture. Most people in recovery are not quite so cocky about their sobriety sticking permanently.


At the time, I had no idea what he meant. I thought about it for a minute and wondered how you would build a house like that. I was reminded of the Three Little Pigs – my house at the time was a flimsy construction of resentment and straw: no defense from the Big, Bad Wolf of temptation. David seemed (like the pig with the brick house) smug as a bug in a rug about his fortification.


Building a Construct Around Your Sobriety…

Last week David’s long ago comment HIT ME. I got it. What he meant was that you must find a way to build a construct around this precious thing – sobriety.  The reason it hit me was because I was unpacking (Christmas gifts and bon voyage notes and remembrances) and it was so clear that everyone I care about trusts me. They trust I will continue on this sober path. Lauren and Jon Jon are proud of me. Dee and Kim and Claudio have complete faith in my abilities. I write a Sobriety Blog with thousands of followers. I just got a job at Sanford House – an Addiction Treatment Center – and Rae and David Green believe in me.


I wrote to David and thanked him. He said, “…I found new things to do that ultimately became integral to my productivity, happiness and lifestyle. That’s when I knew I had arranged a lifestyle where any use would be impossible because it would disrupt too many things which I had built a dependency on. Anyhow…thanks again for letting me know that something I wrote about became true to you as well. The connection that exists between myself and other people in recovery is a huge motivating factor for me…”


Amen. I have begun to build a fortress around my sobriety. Protecting the precious thing that has saved my life and given me this opportunity to help others. And although I am not sitting back in an easy chair like the safe little pig shouting, “Bring it on!” to the Big Bad Wolf, I do feel more confident I have built the strong walls that will keep me sober permanently.


And she lived happily ever after…

But it’s not THE END. Nothing like the end…


Today I’m not drinking because I’m building a house of bricks!

How come you’re not drinking?