The Side Effects of Recovery

Listening to the side effects of some of these new drugs advertised on television makes me wonder why anyone in their right mind would ever take them. But, given some of the medical conditions they are designed to help, patients may want to risk the complications.

Recovery has side effects, too. A few may be painful, unexpectedly complicating, and maybe even risky. For example:

  1. Stopping drinking may mean we need medical or professional help. Seek it! (Treatment Programs) Also, the pamphlet Problems Other Than Alcohol is helpful, and so is Chapter 3 in the AA Big book.
  1. It may take longer than we might imagine for alcohol to leave our system.
  1. Be wary of too quick a trip from an alcoholic fog to a pink cloud. Taking short cuts may lead us to no place worth going.

Recovery may come with a set of side effects that are both welcomed – (see the AA Promises) — but, perhaps a bit daunting:

  • Problems we used to drink over may not vanish when we stop.
  • Relationships we messed up may not be so easy to sort out.
  • Other people we love may not be interested in their own “recovery.” “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • Bills will still come due, and the world still does not owe us a living because we decided to sober up.
  • Duties, obligations, and responsibilities won’t disappear just because we put the drinks down.

Does that sound as scary as the side effects on miracle drugs advertised on?

Look back at the promises. I have clung to the 11th promise: We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us.

What’s more, when we work the program, we now have a Higher Power, a sponsor, meetings, and written material to help us over and through the dark and scary places that do not disappear overnight. With these tools, We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Love, in Christ,

Sober & Grateful

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The Side Effects of Recovery