Clear Springs Ranch

Spiritual Corner

Why Can’t I Stay Clean and Sober on my Own?

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Why Can’t I Stay Clean & Sober on My Own?

Because personal motivation alone isn’t enough. Some observations:

Motivation naturally fluctuates from day to day. Some days you’re enthusiastic, other days you barely struggle through. You’re more likely to relapse on one of those inevitable bad days.

Resolutions fade with time. We begin with good intentions, but we need something to supplement our resolve. That’s why people buy motivational products such as exercise videos and self-help books. We enroll in workshops and classes, purchase gym memberships, hire personal trainers. We’re hoping it will help prop up our motivation when it sags. All too often, those self-help books and exercise machines wind up sitting unnoticed in a closet.

Life is full of ‘de-motivators’ that interfere with progress. Perhaps we don’t get the hoped-for praise and recognition for our efforts to change.  We keep running into negative people who make depressing and annoying remarks like (after three weeks on the new diet) “have you picked up some weight?”

Doesn’t the world realize how hard we’re trying? No. The world at large is concerned with matters other than us. We may have the lead in our own drama, but we’re bit players in everyone else’s.

For most who seek to make profound life changes, success depends on seeking and accepting help from others who understand and share our problems – help that can provide the support, recognition, encouragement and understanding that we need to keep going when the going gets tough.       

Another consideration: there’s good evidence that helping someone else with similar struggles increases our own chances for success. We need not only to seek help from others, but to become helpers ourselves. That’s something recovery fellowships provide, and at no cost.


C. Scott McMillin,

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