First Things First

- May 28, 2022

First things first are learning about how to prioritize things in our lives.  Being an addict and in recovery the first necessary thing is sobriety.  We must first obtain sobriety and then maintain it through a program of your choice.  It is very helpful to have a sober network of individuals that you can call upon outside of formal meeting times.  We need to have access to the support from others when needed.  The day may be very long and complicated and, this is when we need to have several phone numbers of sober members of our particular fellowship to call upon.  We can seek to be redirected to a more positive frame of mind and, find suggestions to help us weather this rough patch we may have encountered.  Without sobriety the addict is basically doomed to a form of toxic existence.  We need total abstinence in order to survive.

Learning to prioritize gives our lives structure and organization.  When faced with a number of tasks at hand we may become overwhelmed and immobilized by procrastination.  We get no where by allowing this to happen.  Our basic needs of food, clothing and shelter may come first.  This implies that we need a source of income of some sort in order to satisfy these basic needs.  If unemployed with little or no foreseeable source of income we may need to look for a job.  We may have lost previous employment due to our addiction.  If this be the case our priority would be to implement a job search.  We may need to create or update our resume.  There are several job sites online or we may seek out the assistance of our local Work Source office.  Whatever the case may be, without funds we may end up staying on a friend’s couch or at a local shelter.

Proper clothing is also an essential part of first things first.  We need suitable clothing for the weather or season of the year.  If we are going on job interviews, we need interview apparel that matches the type of work that we are looking for.  Thrift stores can be helpful in allowing us to put together an interview outfit at a very low cost.  We may have to do some searching at the thrift store but this is hardly the time to procrastinate.  If we are interviewing for an office position we must dress accordingly.  We must also dress appropriately for a blue-collar position.  Many of us have lost careers and may need to start again on the bottom rung of the ladder.   The point is we have to start somewhere.  The chapter “To the Employers” in the AA Big Book has lots of useful information regarding the workplace.

Shelter is also of extreme importance.  If homeless we may try to seek out shelter at a local half way house or sober living facility.  There are usually several of these types of places in the community.  You may have to share a room but you will be housed.  Some facilities offer assistance with job applications and social services available for the individual.  Filing for General Relief may help to pay the fee for the housing arrangement and provide food benefits as well.  At times 12 step meetings will be held on the premises.  Other resources such as transportation to outside meetings may be provided by sober members of the fellowship.  These types of living arrangements can be very beneficial to the newly sober person who is trying to get back on their feet while staying sober.

The newly sober person my be overwhelmed by all that it takes to start fresh.  Things may not progress as fast as they would like.  They may be passed over for a coveted job position.  They may feel crowded at times in their living arrangement.  The point is that you have to start somewhere after becoming newly sober.  This is not the time for self-pity or procrastination.  In time by prioritizing tasks things will begin to smooth out.  Just remember that sobriety is number one when it comes to first things first.  One must be willing to go to any lengths to grow and flourish in this new way of life.

Written by Phillip