THE BIG BOOK (on pg 85 and more) CLEARLY STATES THAT THE PROBLEM OF ALCOHOLISM “WILL BE REMOVED IT WILL NOT EXIST FOR US ANYMORE:
That is provided we do a certain amount of spiritual maintenance. I suppose technically it is a cure that requires maintenance and action. “Cured” does not mean we can drink normally, it means now we have no desire to drink and we do not consider alcohol a solution to anything.
So why is it that people in AA so often have the attitude that they are chronically ill and will never be “recovered”. The only CHRONIC part of this disease that cannot be healed is the allergy. We will always get a different reaction from alcohol than normal people get.
But the real reason for the apprehension to say “cured” is that most of us have relapsed so many times before we reached AA that we feel it is a disease that we are powerless over. And just after the paragraph where Bill W. writes “the problem has been removed it does not exist for us” he also writes “We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”
So What about this “Never Recovered” attitude?
Personally being a recovered addict/alcoholic I think it’s a negative fail-safe constructed by the addicts reasoning like..waiting for the other shoe to drop. If we don’t accept that we are “well” then we won’t relapse because we are always working toward getting better. Therefore hypothetically we never “rest on our laurels because we never get well enough to lighten up. I guess the theory has it’s advantages. This attitude is clearly akin to the fear of success and sprouts from the low self-worth that repeated relapse ingrains. BUT NOW we rely on the program NOW we rely on God. THE PROGRAM WORKS! So as long as we work our program and rely on God we are good. ANYBODY can grow into a complete and miraculous recovery if they learn the program and work on core issues. You gotta feel to heal.
BIG BOOK QUOTES:
We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fight it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had 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.
Title Page: “ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS. The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism” (I totally agree with him on this one we absolutely do recover, at least I have.)
Page 20, paragraph 2: “Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body. (here, here!)
Ok then what is a “fit spiritual condition” and how do we attain it? The Program is simple not complicated, simple but not easy. “Fit spiritual condition” does not mean I am happy all the time or my life is perfect. I am a human with human emotions. I did not come to AA to learn how to further repress my emotions, put on a mask of happy joyous and free, and walk around saying “life is good” every three seconds. NO THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT! Life is not good all the time and just because I am sober it doesn’t mean that it’s a good day.
If people die or get sick it sucks. If I break my toe it sucks. If my lover has an affair IT HURTS! Crying is a healthy emotion to relieve emotional pain. Tears are a sign that my emotions are balanced and I allow myself to feel what my heart is saying. Fit spiritual condition means that I have an on-going relationship with my Higher Power and I have learned to rely on Him/Her/It. It also means that I have worked on my core issues and learned what to do with my intense emotions when they do surface. It means that I have worked the 12 steps and know how to implement them when I need to. I know how to revisit step three and remember God has my back. I know how to do a step four and five when I get a resentment. I know how to make amends if I hurt someone. I recognize when I am slipping into complacency or insanity so I formally work all 12 steps again. I take time to connect with nature and I get peace from that. I eat right and show others the respect that I desire. The wreckage of the past must be processed I must not hold on to the worst offences. No secrets. We are as sick as the secrets we keep.
The three things that cure addiction are this= 1. therapy, working on the core issues that made me want to numb myself in the first place, 2. The 12 Steps combined with the fellowship and service work, learning and recognizing my dysfunctional patterns so I can guard against them in the now, furthermore the steps teach me humility, honesty, and more 3. spirituality= a relationship with my Higher Power to RELY on God and soak up God’s strength and Love.
Leaving out any aspect of this healing recovery recipe could result in a return to addiction, dry drunk-ism, possible eventual suicide or hurting others.