Is it possible to maintain sobriety without help? I have known of one person who was able to stay sober without God or Alcoholics Anonymous or any other help. That man was my father. The problem was that he was sober and very unhappy. His unhappiness manifested itself through meanness. I avoided him as much as possible toward the end of his life.
For the most part my answer to this question is; no I do not think it is possible for the alcoholic or addict to maintain sobriety without help. The power the disease of addiction has over us is limitless. Learning to understand just how powerful addiction is can be the beginning of sobriety.
I have had the privilege of counseling several people who have either left alcohol rehab or prison. The biggest thing I tell them is this; be prepared for life to hit you the minute you leave an institution. Most people are unprepared for how the stresses hit you immediately. You have to have supportive people in place before you get out.
My husband and I have been friends with a man who had been in prison several times for stealing to get money to buy heroin. We have been supportive of him even though his drug abuse affected us directly. We knew his childhood was very sad making adulthood difficult. We care a great deal about this man. He left jail about three weeks ago and went back to heroin two days ago. He is tested once a week for drugs. Next week he will probably fail the urine test. If he has what is called a “dirty urine” he goes back to jail for five years. I told he him could not control his addiction alone but apparently he didn’t hear me.
We can not stay clean and sober without help. It is too big for us. Even with help, it is still huge. I have fought the disease of addiction for 30 years and I have been fortunate to have many mentors, sponsors and a faith in God and still I have had slips. Alcoholics Anonymous suggest that “without help it is too much for us”. How True!