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Getting Priorities Straight in Sobriety

Pursuing Worthy Actions

Much of my drinking and drugging was due to the fact that I believed I was supposed to be happy and feel good all the time.

It was a childish point of view, and it stayed with me for all too long. It led me away from happiness and toward misery.

I felt good when I was drinking, and I felt good when I was high. If I was supposed to be happy and feel good, I should drink and get high, pretty much all the time. Right?

It didn’t work out that way.


During my early sober days, I read a daily meditation book for men.

One of the pages spoke to me, and I’ve never forgotten the lesson.

What it taught is that the hope and expectation of happiness is misguided. It talked about how the idea of chasing happiness is a fool’s errand, because being happy is something that will come and go in our lives, according to many factors that are out of our control.

However, the pursuit of worthiness is a useful way to live. And if one focuses on doing worthy deeds and taking worthy actions, this is something within our control.

From this, there’s a good chance that happiness will come to visit us. But it will be a by-product. And deaths and ill health and loss and tragedy and trauma may all play a role in our lives, and of course, these things will affect anyone’s feelings of happiness.


This shook me to my core. It helped me to grow up, and to recognize how much more there is to life than trying to feel good all of the time. It was such a selfish pursuit!

Once I established a fair time of sobriety, I could be there for others who were suffering from alcoholism/addiction. In my life, there’s been very little that’s been more worthy than helping a sick and suffering alcoholic/addict.


I’ve been happy during my sober years. My primary source of happiness is by paying attention to the gratitude I have, day by day, for being freed from the chains of alcohol and drugs.

I’ve also had periods of great unhappiness. I’ve had professional disappointments, suffered the loss of loved ones, dealt with financial troubles, and more.

But the worthy thing of expressing my gratitude by staying focused on not taking a drink or a drug, day by day, has never wavered.


The saying “when the student is ready, the teacher appears” applies here. I was ready to change. I needed to change. I also needed direction. Much of that came by simply seeing how misguided I’d been, and how my selfish need to try to feel good was destroying me.

Being open to new ideas is essential for me. If I ever think I’ve got it figured out, I’m wrong.

There are always new things to consider and possibly changes to be made.

I intend to stay sober so I can find out what’s coming along those lines.

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