What is a “Position of Neutrality”?

When we first enter into a life of sobriety, we may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of avoiding any and all things related to drugs and alcohol for the rest of our lives. Fortunately, this is not the case. We will eventually reach what 12-step programs refer to as a “position of neutrality.” We will not have to avoid people, places, and things that we once considered “triggers” because they will no longer affect us in the same way as they did in the early stages of our recovery.
The idea that we will have to spend our lives fighting against triggers is a daunting prospect. After all, we are bound to find ourselves in some position around alcohol or drugs, especially if we engage in a process of helping others achieve sobriety during our own recovery. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we have been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”
Without working a recovery program, whether it be 12-step or non-12-step, we are unlikely to reach such a position in our sobriety. We may find ourselves “white knuckling” our sobriety– hanging on out of sheer desperation. The true freedom of recovery occurs when realize that staying in fit spiritual condition has allowed us to go anywhere and do anything without feeling any desire or temptation to drink or use drugs.
That is not to say that triggers are not an important factor in the early stages of sobriety. It is extremely helpful to be in a treatment center that shields us from external stressors and sources of cravings until we are confident in our sobriety. Nor is it a good idea to be around drugs and alcohol if we don’t have a good reason to be there. However, with a strong program of recovery, we will find that we are not tempted by substances and are no longer triggered by them– Our desire for drugs and alcohol has been removed from us.

Your story can become one of hope, faith, and courage in sobriety. You can make the decision to seek help now and begin building a brighter future. Oceanfront Recovery, a men’s treatment center located in the heart of beautiful Laguna Beach, is staffed with a passionate team of clinicians and care providers dedicated to helping clients heal from addiction. For information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777