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Sobriety Is In the Small Stuff

by Garret Barbush on January 16th, 2013 in Men

A few months ago, I had the privilege of standing next to a very good friend as he watched his beautiful bride walk down the aisle toward him.  My friend smiled bigger as his bride got closer to him, and it was easy to tell that he was doing everything in his power to fight back tears from rolling down his face.  It was in that moment that I realized how proud I was of Corby.  It was in that moment that I was reminded again of how great God’s grace and favor can be when a man decides to not only commit his life to Jesus Christ but to also commit himself to the “small stuff” in life.

It was several weeks before his wedding that Corby celebrated two years of sobriety from drugs and alcohol.  Prior to sobriety, Corby’s life was a complete mess.  It consisted of working long hours, taking a lot of drugs, and drinking a lot of alcohol.  His long hours of work paid for his habits.  Corby was quick to anger, discontent, and completely miserable with life.  Finally, his life came a screeching halt when he decided to check himself into rehab.  However, one visit to rehab wasn’t enough for Corby.  “I came home from rehab the first time thinking that the drugs were the problem in my life.  So, I decided to get drunk the first night home,” Corby shared.  The alcohol eventually triggered his drug use and Corby relapsed with drugs within several weeks.  It was his second visit to rehab where Corby realized true sobriety would ultimately be a result of the “small stuff” in his life.

Corby came out of rehab the second time realizing that his alcohol abuse was what triggered his drug abuse.  Furthermore, there were things in his life that would trigger his alcohol abuse.  It was a vicious cycle.  “I realized that my anger, loneliness, and discontentment were the things that drove me to drink.  In return, my drinking drove me to use drugs.  It was a constant set of triggers in my life that were setting me off, and I knew that I had to put a plan in place to truly get those triggers under control.”

As stated earlier, Corby eventually got those triggers under control.  While he has remained sober to this day, he’ll be the first to tell you that sobriety does not get easier with time.  “I have to sweat the small stuff every day of my life, and I’ll have to continue sweating the small stuff for the rest of my life.  It’s just the nature of the beast.”  Corby was forced to establish a clear set of boundaries in his life.  Success in his sobriety is a result of focusing on the  “small stuff.”  He was forced to establish new friendships, attend weekly meetings with other addicts, steer clear of environments where drugs and alcohol are present, etc.  “Putting together plan for my sobriety was easy.  It was all about the small stuff.  I knew exactly what I needed to do and what I needed to stay away from.  However, sticking to that plan consistently over a long period of time is what results in true sobriety for me.”

Corby’s sobriety from drugs and alcohol is a perfect example of why true sobriety is a result of focusing on the “small stuff.”   While you may not have a struggle with drugs and alcohol, the chances are that you struggle with porn.  Like Corby, I realized at one point that sobriety from porn was in the “small stuff.”  The “small stuff” for me includes a plan for purity.  Here’s what my plan looks like:

  1. I have X3Watch downloaded on each of my electronic devices (computers, iPhone, iPad, etc.).
  2. If my wife goes to bed before me, then all of my electronic devices go to the bedroom with her.
  3. I never have one-on-one meetings with women behind closed doors.
  4. We have a basic cable and internet package (no HBO, no Showtime, no Cinemax).
  5. I pray daily with my wife.

Men – sobriety is in the small stuff.  There’s no perfect, scientific formula that will lead you to sobriety.  Sobriety looks different to each one of us.  Sobriety comes from a willingness to make a change in your life by establishing a plan and having the courage to implement that plan consistently into your every day life.  Sobriety is a choice.  If you are truly willing to do what it takes to rid porn from your life, then I’m here to tell you that you can do it!  Sweat the small stuff, be on guard at all times, and never get comfortable.  God saved my friend Corby.  God saved me.  He desperately wants to save you, too.  The question is this – are you willing to sweat the small stuff and do what is required of you?  1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

If you find yourself falling away from sobriety often, then please take some time to read my previous blog, “What Do I Do When I’ve Fallen Again?” 

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  • theroadup

    Good post. A lot of truths in it. Thank you.

  • You use X3watch Free or X3watch Pro ?? I guess the Tv stays in the Living room when your wife goes to bed and you can always pick up a DVD on the way home. Praying with your wife is great step.

  • Becksterdam

    Very well written Garret.

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