If we con­fess our dis­or­dered attach­ments, “he who is faith­ful and just will for­give us our sins and cleanse us from all unright­eous­ness” (1 John 1:9).

Ed: Your first book was your sto­ry of find­ing sobri­ety. What is your new book, The Book of Wak­ing Up, about? Do you see your jour­ney to sobri­ety dif­fer­ent­ly than you used to?

Seth: I see my sobri­ety jour­ney so much dif­fer­ent­ly now, six years into a sea­son of being undrunk. Com­ing Clean was a real-time jour­nal, one I wrote in the anx­ious process of quit­ting the bot­tle. In those ear­ly days, I wasn’t sure whether to call myself an alco­holicor to use more palat­able lan­guage like “I’m depen­dent” or “I have a drink­ing prob­lem.”

As I walked deep­er into sobri­ety, I real­ized the pre­cise lan­guage around my rela­tion­ship with alco­hol mat­tered less than the truth of that rela­tion­ship. The truth was, I was using alco­hol to numb my pain instead of open­ing myself to the divine love and heal­ing of God.

Now, I don’t wor­ry so much about monikers and nomen­cla­ture. I don’t apply a “do or do not” def­i­n­i­tion to sobri­ety, either. Instead, I ask myself whether I’m marked by inner sobri­ety, or the sobri­ety char­ac­ter­ized by con­nec­tion with God’s divine love above all else.

Ed: You write that we are all “peo­ple of cop­ing mech­a­nisms rang­ing from the ille­gal to the social­ly accept­able.” Why do you think we all have addic­tions of some sort? What do they have in com­mon? And are all addic­tions equal?

Seth: Addiction—it’s such a tricky word, isn’t it? Through my gen­er­al obser­va­tion of human nature, though, I’ve come to believe we all tend to have some kind of cop­ing mech­a­nism, some­thing we use when the pain comes call­ing.

Some use booze or oxy­codone when they have emo­tion­al pain. Some turn to over-con­sump­tion (whether shop­ping or eat­ing) or over-work­ing …

Con­tin­ue read­ing





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