Today’s article, curated from Waking Up the Ghost, talks about quick fixes with their pretty packaging vs. the long haul and doing what it takes.  You may read the original post here.


In gratitude, harmony, and support,




“Buying” the Sober Life (With the Proper Packaging)


by Marilyn Spiller



I bought a new pot of face cream. The package promised to “erase fine lines in a week,” which is great because it’s my birthday today and I wanted to have a wrinkle-free face by that milestone…


The Quick Fix…

I mean, I actually bought the cream – $37.99 – because the box said it would work its magic quickly. Isn’t that what we all look for? And it got me thinking. Getting sober is like standing in the Lotion and Creams aisle in the drugstore. We are all looking past the seductive packaging for the quick fix.  And discounting the cause – years of self-sabotage. In my case, Bahamian sun, booze, and the inadvisable practice of not removing mascara before bed and scraping it from the tender skin below my eyes with a rough washcloth in the morning…


It got me thinking that getting sober is a lot easier than staying sober. Let’s face it –  the long-haul, drudgery of sobriety and the punch in the gut demands when the addicted brain wants what it wants, are about the least fast things one can think of. It takes a lifetime. Just ask the AA old-timers.


Imagine the packaging for the product “Sobriety in a Box” – a brightly colored parcel, a symmetrical, smiling model and the promise it’s going to “TAKE YOUR WHOLE LIFE” to get the desired results. Who’d buy that?


Getting Sober Fast…

For about half of what I paid for the face cream, I can order the book: How to Give Up Drinking Fast and Stay Sober: An Ex-Alcoholic’s Guide to Overcoming Alcohol Addiction. Or a dozen other books promising “speedy recovery.” I haven’t read any of them, but anyone who has done what we have done knows it’s not about fast. And a surefire guide? One size fits all? I don’t think so.


But no one is going to choose the book titled Staying Sober is HARD.  With the subtitle:  The chronic nature of the disease may include a relapse or two… 


We live in a world where we fix every ill, quickly, prettily, with a pill or an unguent or a Google search. No one should have to suffer unnecessarily. Or, God forbid, walk around with the ravages of a hard life etched on one’s face… We are all like Willy Wonka’s Veruca. I want it now!


Benchmarks, Wrinkles & Atta’ Girls…

It is at milestones like birthdays and sober anniversaries when a person should stop and give proper credit to themselves. For doing the hard stuff.  The things that take time and effort. And we should give ourselves a break for continuing to believe the packaging – even when we know better… although I think the face cream really did reduce my fine lines…


So, on this birthday I can say I feel pretty darned good about myself. Kim is visiting and I said to her last night, “I might be older, but I am really happy with my body.” I don’t think I have ever said that before. (Although Kim reminded me I used to vogue in the mirror and say it all the time…)


What I meant this time, was that I am happy with myself. The body that I possess is clear headed. I am wearing my size twos again because of a consistent, long-term program of rigorous exercise and healthy eating. This person I have become, after all I have been through, is present. I am here for the long haul. And stronger than ever for having eschewed easy.


And I am happy with my body and my countenance.


Wrinkles and all…


Quick Fixes vs. the Long Haul

2 thoughts on “Quick Fixes vs. the Long Haul

  • November 30, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Sobriety is the hardest thing I ever did in my life. I have been through deaths, giving birth and a whole lot more. As I tell people “it is a full time job that never ends”. So why do I continue to do it – I never want to go through that Alcohol haze again. I didn’t even know what I did half the time. I let myself be abused by former boyfriends, hell i was abusing myself. I feel good, I can see things I never really seen, like the moon and stars. So the long never end job i have, I will keep.

    • December 2, 2017 at 7:51 am

      So happy for you that despite what feels hard and never ending sometimes, you are consciously choosing the moon and the stars… To me, what was harder to navigate through was the life you described, which i relate to and recall from my own experience: the abuse, haze, and worse. One day at a time, Sister – the moon and the stars and so much more is ours now.


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