Sober before everything

I learned plenty from my last slip.  I hope I learned so much I'll never need another.  I believe I was doing meetings, surrender, and Steps to the best of my ability.  How did I slip?  

I ask because an SA friend, who slipped recently, is asking that question.

As part of my morning routine, I'm reading a little each day of an AA book that I love - Living Sober.  Today's installment was on the phrase "First Things First" - if I can paraphrase - "Sober before everything."  

Because, if I'm an addict, and I'm not sober, I'll lose everything anyway.

Being a wise guy, I look for loopholes to "Sober before everything."  I settle on living.  I need to be alive in order to get sober, so sobriety can't be before EVERY thing.  Even the title of the AA book puts "Living" before "Sober."

And then I thought about what was present on the first day of my current sobriety that wasn't there before.  I told lust that day: "I will die before I lose my sobriety."  If it became necessary to die to preserve sobriety, so be it, but I was not going to act out.

Because, if lust wasn't taking my physical life, it was taking away everything that made life livable: dignity, self-esteem, sanity.

Of course I'm fickle, so my resolve will not last long by itself.  But Steps, meetings, calls, surrender, being sponsored, etc., all buttress that resolve.  These words are easy to say, but my actions have to match my words, and all the driving, calling, and so forth show that I really am putting sobriety before everything else.

The result is life worth living.