The Opposite of Sober: A Look at the 12-Steps in Reverse


What is the opposite of sober? Simple antonyms are drunk, inebriated, intoxicated. But abstinence is but one part of being sober. Sobriety involves a change in one's entire being. According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-Step programs, to recover from alcohol use is to have a complete moral, physical, financial, and spiritual change.

To understand the true opposite of sobriety then, here's a look at the 12-Steps in reverse.

What is the opposite of sober? Simple antonyms are drunk, inebriated, intoxicated. But abstinence is but one part of being sober. Sobriety involves a change in one's entire being. According to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-Step programs, to recover from alcohol use is to have a complete moral,

The Opposite of the 12-Steps

1. I declare my complete control over alcohol and everything else and further declare that my life is in perfect order.

2. I recognize no power as great as I am, nor any person as smart as I am, and if you don't like it, come outside.

3. I decided to run my life and everyone else's life to suit only me, and I pity those who get in my way.

4. I made a searching and thorough inventory of everyone other than myself and found them woefully lacking in all respects, and I never hesitate to tell them so.

5. I admitted to no one, including God and myself, that there could be anything wrong with me or my actions.

6. I went to extreme efforts to protect and increase my character defects, and I did a little drinking besides.

7. I continued my obnoxious and arrogant air of asking no one for anything; my Big Eye was for telling, not asking.

8. I kept a complete list of all persons who had harmed me, either real or imaginary, and swore to get even with them all.

9. I got even where possible, except when to do so might injure me.

10. I continued to bitch and whine about everything to everyone and promptly reminded them when I was right.

11. I sought through scheming and conniving to materially improve myself, at the expense of my fellow man.? I never hesitate when the opportunity presents itself to bring disaster and misery to anyone who happens across my path.

12. Having had a complete moral, physical, financial, and spiritual breakdown, all of my remaining effort was directed toward dragging those near me and dear to me down to the same depths of despair. And I did a little drinking too.

How a 12-Step Program Can Help

Admitting that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs is the first step towards recovery. 12-Step programs can be a major factor in a successful journey to sobriety. These programs offer information and support for the person recovering from addiction. The only requirement to becoming a member of a 12-Step program is the desire to stop drinking or drugging.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and other 12-step programs deal with alcohol or substance use. Methadone Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous, and many other subset programs also exist to help people address other addictive behaviors.

12-Step Program Basics

Programs like AA are nonprofit organizations. The goal of the programs is to help a person recover from an addiction. They also help the recovering person develop a different way of life in their new clean life.

12-Step programs have a spiritual foundation to help an individual recover from an addiction. At meetings, AA members share their personal experiences and concerns about drinking or taking drugs. They also listen to other people’s experiences and learn the guiding principles that the program teaches for a successful recovery.

How 12-Step Programs Work

A 12-Step program member learns to turn drinking over to a Higher Power. (This step, in particular, is challenging for many, and for that reason, there are many alternatives to 12-Step programs). People in 12-Steps have the support and guidance of a sponsor, a mentor with a substantial sobriety record. A sponsor is only a phone call away and ready to offer help and support.

All the program steps are examined, dissected, discussed, and put into practice by the member, with the support of the group and an individual sponsor. Attending meetings regularly and staying in contact with their support system is critical to recovery.

How 12-Step Programs Can Help

Meetings offer hope and support to the members of the group. They make the person take an honest look at their behavior and actions. The daily mind, body, and spiritual support of a 12-Step program are important to maintaining sobriety. The programs make people aware of what types of behaviors they have that may concern relapse.

Members of a 12-step program learn to acknowledge their mistakes and take the proper action to address them. It helps them amend any damage they have caused in their life and relationships. Peer support is critical. It allows life learning through the experiences of others.

The basis of the 12-step program helps people along the journey of recovery from dependency on drugs or alcohol. The member must learn that recovery is a process, not a cure.

Alcoholics Anonymous: What Is It?

If you’ve decided you want to stop drinking and are thinking of going to a support group to get help, you’re in luck-- you can find Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings almost anywhere. Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization of people who want to share their experiences of alcoholism and receive and offer support to other members who are in sober recovery. To be a member, all you have to do is want to stop drinking. You don’t even have to pay dues to go to AA meetings. They pass a basket around for members to make donations at every meeting, but payment is not required.

There are two types of alcoholics anonymous meetings: open meetings and closed meetings.

Open AA Meetings

At open AA meetings, people will share experiences. The open meetings will have speakers who will talk about how they drank and how AA has helped them. Family members and people who are interested in AA are welcome to attend open meetings.

Closed AA Meetings

Closed AA meetings are for alcoholic members only. At these meetings, members may talk about personal problems and any issues they are having with sobriety. AA members can get direct, personal help as they commit to staying sober day by day. Other members may talk about the problems they have encountered and often give strategies for overcoming them.

You Have to Want to Attend Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are not for people who are being forced into any sobriety as an intervention. The AA organization is strictly for people who want to stop drinking and decide to attend meetings to get support for trying to get sober and stay sober.

It is important to note that AA does not claim to be a medical organization. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are not for people who need medical help to go through detox or early rehab, but the meetings can be a great supplement to that process. For people who want to stop drinking and are ready to get support in their recovery from alcoholism, AA is a great choice.

Help is Available

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to start the path to recovery today.

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