For me, and so many of the people I know who have recovered from a serious addiction, the word sober isn't good enough. And the phrase “clean and sober” isn't nearly good enough.
Sober is a cold word. (For such a warm feeling.) People say things like, “That's a sobering thought.” They are referring to a head-clearing slap in the face or a cold bath, a plunge into the cold waters below the ice of reality. Sobering.
I mean, the word isn't completely wrong. It describes the base of it, the underlying clear mind. The refreshing purification of the human system that happens with spiritual progress.
But winning my freedom from addiction was better than just getting sober. Yes, it included sobriety. But that word is chilly and cold, and recovery is like the Jordan River. Like the old spiritual says, “It chills the body but not the soul.”
Freedom warms the soul.