The Difference between Sobriety and Recovery

by The Discovering Alcoholic on July 8, 2009

original pic by midweekpost under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

The Harvard Crimson has a review up of Jerzy Pilch’s “The Mighty Angel”, a memoir-like black comedy of alcoholism and addiction.

The modern literary tradition—in particular, the Lost Generation writers and their contemporaries—has done something curious in romanticizing the throes of alcoholism. Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald were all raging alcoholics and filled their novels with characters who acted likewise. But never before, and rarely today, does a novelist confront addiction so intimately and personally as Jerzy Pilch in his recently translated novel, “The Mighty Angel.”

Honestly, I already have too many books in the queue so this one will not make my list, but the following passage did catch my attention.

“…in my case especially it’s impossible, to live a long and happy life when you drink. But how can you live a long and happy life if you don’t drink?”

Recovery. That is the answer. Some people never figure this one out becoming discouraged and relapsing before they find out that sober is not necessarily a “happy” state. Recovery is the process of learning how to accomplish Pilch’s “long and happy life” without drinking.

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