I had a college professor who was so gifted at explaining calculus, simply listening to his lectures made the subject seem easy. He would warn the class, “Just because it makes sense when I explain it doesn’t mean you don’t have to work the problems yourself.” My first test in that class proved his statement correct. Recovery is similar. I can talk a good game and even be persuasive at articulating the tenets of sobriety, but unless I’m “working the problems myself,” I will not stay clean. Recovery is NOT simply abstinence. When my dealer had no dope to sell, I wasn’t sober. Instead, recovery is a design for living. It’s referred to as a program. In the computer field, a program is a series of instructions that, when executed properly, provide a desired result. Recovery gives me instructions on how to stay sober and live a happy, productive life. All I have to do is EXECUTE those instructions.

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