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A Sober Living World – One of Four Principles to Recovery

I went to a meeting last night. I’ll be 100% honest. It had been just over a week, maybe even two. It was a smaller sized meeting, which I like the most because it typically means I will eventually have to share. It’s not so easy to hide when there are only 10 people in the room. The speaker was someone I hadn’t seen before, and he was celebrating one year; a huge milestone. He was grinning from ear to ear, and I could tell he was a bit nervous, as I was when I hit the first year. His topic was ‘what helped keep him sober.’ It’s a great one and I have to say it’s wonderful to hear people express this openly. Even at my ‘age’ I sometimes forget the basics; making sobriety more complicated than it needs to be. What’s that saying? Oh, yes, “Keep it Simple, Stupid.”

John, I’ll call him by this name, began by telling us his story, his drunk-a-log if you will. Sometimes the stories are funny and sometimes poignant. As I sat listening, laughing and nodding because I was so darned familiar with his story. In many ways, he is just like me. The words to the drunk-a-log might be different but the melody is the same.

Although, I enjoyed his story immensely, I appreciated other parts a bit more and took his knowledge and insight with me when I left to go home. I am a firm believer of ‘Take what you need, Need what you take.” His closing was mostly about what he does today to remain sober, happy, and in recovery. He broke it down, ticking off on each finger, into four somewhat distinct groups.

  1. He needed a purpose, something he could be proud of each day. Things like a job, his volunteer work, and his feeling of being independent again. Not ‘alone’ like he was when drugging but independent and not having to manipulate people into giving him money or stealing from them.
  2. His health, which had waned during his using, was much better. He was sharing needles, and developed some diseases, which he now manages. Emotionally he is in a better place. He still has his moments, but he is able to see them from a clearer perspective.
  3. He moved from a halfway house six-months prior, and is now living with another sober person. Someone who has a good deal of time, works a great sober program, and is somewhat of a role-model for John. It’s a stable, safe and sober place to live.
  4. And finally, he is active in his community. He has a great social network of sober friends who offer unconditional support, friendship, hope, and love. He even has some ‘normie’ friends who are 100% supportive of his sober living world.

There are many guiding principles we each consider to remain in recovery. Some of them are broken down differently, and honestly it doesn’t matter how you break this list down. What John describes above is a simple guide to recovery; purpose, health, home, and community.


Recovery Rob is a 47-year-old man who has more than nineteen years of sobriety, whose drugs of choice at one time were alcohol and drugs, and he has worked in and around the field of addiction for more than 20 years. Recovery Rob is a professional writer who has published two novels and is currently working on his third. He has been writing and working as Pat Moore Foundation’s premiere blogger and content writer, which helps keeps Pat Moore Foundation’s addiction and recovery blog top-rated.