For those who follow the shares in this periodical, it is a short search to find a solution to the alcoholic dilemma. Embarking upon a programme of action, with a Big Book and a sponsor, will bring relief very quickly.
My sponsor guided me toward The Doctor’s Opinion in the prefaces of The Big Book and Dr Harry Tiebout’s address to the twenty first conference, along with his paper, at the back of AA Comes of Age. Reduction of the ego, that was and is my problem and the key to my recovery. I am now recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body. This was achieved by employing the ‘Just for Today’ card, the Big Book and starting my day with a short prayer and meditation. This connects me with the world and is of course the action of step eleven. Navel gazing, ‘on the minutiae of the semantics and theology of the steps’ is just so much clap trap. Action is what is required.
All so different to what it was like when I was drinking. I drank my way to jail. I thought my way to mental hospital and behaved my way to skid row. Along the way I qualified and gained promotion to chronic alcoholic. The delusions convinced me that that stuff that had happened to me was not going to happen again. The stuff that had not happened yet was not going to happen at all, and therefore it was clear that a drink would do me no harm. The physical reaction to that first drink led me to the compulsion of the next drink and the next, until oblivion took over. That took me to the brink of the mindless decades of death that is a wet brain. Google Kosakoff’s Psychosis if you want to be scared witless by the condition of alcoholism. I came to join a group who have structure, experience and share about a solution.
Today I work on my real problem. I do not have a drink problem, I never did. I do not have a living problem, (I can manage to breathe without a programme). I have an ego problem that has a physical manifestation in making me feel separated from you, to feel defended and emotionally vulnerable. In that state I can pick up resentments like a vacuum cleaner and the only thing that will relieve those awful feelings is alcohol. I am consciously separated from…. There are daily suggestions for action to keep me in conscious contact with…. So every morning I say the third step prayer, (Big Book p. 63) and I read a section of the Big Book on rising. Then during the day I do something from the, ‘Just for Today’ card. I go to a meeting, or phone a newcomer, or my sponsor. In the evening I write at least three things on a gratitude list. Then give thanks for a sober day. This is so much less effort than grinding teeth, in restlessness, irritability and deep discontent.
Today I live in a happy family environment. At least that is what my wife and adult children tell me. I am at least useful most of the time. The fact is that a spiritual awakening has occurred as the result of taking action with the twelve steps. This spiritual awakening is not some mumbo jumbo, airy-fairy, happy-clappy, mystical nonsense. It is a conscious manifestation of the reality that my ego is quite prepared to run my life again and will pick up where I left it when I became aware that I was running on my will. That is turned around by not cherry picking what bit of the programme I want and like. It is doing what the basic text suggests. The truth about this programme is very simple. If I take action and do the steps, something happens. If I do not, then nothing happens. ‘There is only one law, the law of love. There are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with ones own growth.’ Alcoholics Anonymous P542.