“Don’t pick up no matter what.”

-Twelve Step wisdom.

This suggestion bothered some of us at first. After all, “just say no to drugs” didn’t work all that well. But “don’t pick up no matter what” is so much more than saying no. It reminds me that, no matter what happens, drugs are not the solution they used to be. I can get fired, have my heart broken, or lose a dear friend and not use. All around me are fellows who’ve lived through all of these situations–and worse–without feeling the need to get high.

And it tells me that I can stay sober no matter what I have to do. When I get triggered today, I ask myself if I might be hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, and take steps toward addressing those needs. I get away from people, places, or things that are troublesome. I’m willing to reach out to my sponsor and other fellows for help. I can pray to my Higher Power, hit a meeting, or pick up literature or my Step work. I can try to help someone else who’s struggling. No matter what craving, fear, or fantasy I’m having, today I can pause and take a breath…whatever it is, it will pass.

Intention: My fellows survive all sorts of tragedies and celebrate every kind of victory without getting high. They are doing whatever it takes to stay sober. Today, I won’t pick up, no matter what.