Trouble Means Something is Right

An excerpt from
12 More Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery

by Allen Berger, PhD., Hazelden Publishing

Optimal Recovery and Emotional Sobriety | Trouble Means Something is Right (Part Four)

So what do we do with our sober suffering? We need to look at the attitude we have towards trouble in our recovery. Optimal recovery requires that we look at trouble in a different light. Trouble does not mean something is wrong. Quite the opposite. Trouble means that something is right. When we experience trouble it is really providing directionality to our growth. It highlights the next step we need to take in our personal development.

I am convinced that optimal recovery can only be achieved when we have emotional sobriety. I’ve defined emotional sobriety in the following way.

It is when the best of us is in charge of the rest of us.

This state of mind is achieved when what you do is the determining force in your emotional well being rather than allowing your emotional well being to be overly influenced by a situation you are in or by what others are or are not doing.

In order to have emotional sobriety we have to surrender our hobbling expectations. We have to stop demanding that life conforms to our expectations and instead adopt the perspective that it is our job to find the best way to cope with whatever challenge life sets before us.

If you’d like to learn more about emotional sobriety and what you can do to achieve it then check out the book I have written on emotional sobriety, “12 Smart Things to do When the Booze and Drugs are Gone,” and my new book 12 More Stupid Things that Mess Up Recovery.”  I will also be conducting a weekend retreat on emotional sobriety at Dan Anderson Renewal Center at Hazelden Betty Ford in Center City, MN, at the end of April in 2018. You can learn more about this retreat and my other workshops on my website,

READ PART ONE                    READ PART TWO                    READ PART THREE