The Seldom Visited Side

I will always be an alcoholic. It is who I am. It is in my genetic code. I was the way I was even before my very
first drink. With this in mind I choose to live on the seldom visited side of alcoholism. The side that many
visit, but few decide to take up permanent residence in. For many years (twenty-two to be exact) I lived on
the drunken side of alcoholism. When alcohol nearly killed me I limped my way into recovery. I may have
physically been in a recovery center for only twelve weeks but mentally and emotionally I spent about eight
years in the recovery part of alcoholism.

Recovery is where I got reacquainted with myself. Having started drinking at the age of thirteen I never really
got to know myself. The thing about alcohol is it does not allow us to get to know who we really are. We
never are allowed to realize our strengths, talents or true desires. We are never allowed to have passion for
anything except our next drunk.

Recovery is where I learned how to live again. It is where I learned about myself. It is where I learned how
to like myself. It was eventually where I learned how to love myself. That was the love I took with me to the
seldom visited side. That seldom visited side by the way is SOBRIETY. My last drink was sixteen years ago
but sobriety is a place I have stayed for the past eight years. It is a place where I don’t always know all the
answers, but I am now sober enough to find them. It is a place that sometimes makes me angry, but being
sober I know how to forgive and forget. It is a place where pain is no match for hope, where rejection succumbs
to joy and where loneliness is chased away by love.

Sobriety is most definitely the seldom visited side of alcoholism. If you spend enough time here you will not
want to leave. There is only one way to get here. That way is RECOVERY. Recovery is not a place where we
stay for a few weeks. It is not a hospital or a treatment facility. Recovery is a frame of mind. It is a conscious
decision. Recovery is honesty and sincerity but most of all recovery is about doing for others. It is about
giving, listening, feeling and sharing from the heart. Recovery worked properly will take us to a place called
permanent sobriety.

For years sobriety was only something I dreamed about during painful periods of remorse. Now my dream
is that sobriety is something each and every one of you can experience long term. Living a life in a drunken
state of mind is a life dominated by doom and doubt. But living a life on the seldom visited side is a glimpse
into the eyes of God.

Permanent drunkenness and permanent sobriety cannot co-exist. We have the choice, the means and the
motivation to make the right decision regarding sobriety. We know that sobriety begins and gets its longevity
in recovery. What we must realize is that choice, means and motivation is not enough to see us through.
Power is what is required to make sobriety permanent. That power comes from God and the only place to
find God is on our knees. The power of prayer happens when we allow God into our lives. Alcohol is our
burden and God is more than willing to take that burden from us…if only we ask!