What are your chances of staying sober? Many people want to know this not only for themselves, but also because they might have a loved one or a close friend that they are worried about. Maybe that person is going into treatment or rehab and is trying to quit drinking, and you want to know what their chances are of making it in recovery. You have probably heard about the statistics regarding relapse and they are of course not very encouraging.
Statistically, it is a nightmare to try and come up with accurate numbers. Someone once quoted that if you take about a hundred people who are starting out in recovery, about 5 percent of them will be clean and sober at the 30 day mark. Then if you take 100 people who have made it to 30 days clean and sober, only about 5 percent of those people will make it to a year clean. Supposedly the pattern continues in 5 year increments from that point forward–so like, out of 100 people who get a year sober, only 5 percent will make it to 5 years sober.
The problem with numbers and statistics like these is that they are not all that accurate. There is a huge problem in reporting for this, because of the shame and guilt factor, and also because you are talking about tracking hundreds of people over a time period of several years. The numbers are not going to be accurate. In fact, it is extremely likely that the data will be off by quite a bit. So don’t put too much faith in stuff that you hear like this, as it just isn’t all that true.
A better experiment is to go to a large 12 step meeting and approach the people there who have multiple years of sobriety and ask them if they believe that anyone can stay sober if they fully surrender and commit to it, and they will say yes. Yes of course anyone can do it, because they did it. And they are a real, true, honest to goodness alcoholic. I know this is true because I am in the same position myself–being a real alcoholic who is lucky enough to still be sober today. I have made it and I was a hopeless drunk who wanted to die, so I know that others can make it too.
So really your chances of “making it” in sobriety are whatever you want them to be. If you fully surrender and commit your whole life to staying sober for another day at a time, then you have nothing to worry about. It is your level of conviction that you must focus on. Chase sobriety with passion. This is the key to success.