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.
BIG BOOK SEXUAL INVENTORY PAGE 68-71
Now about sex. Many of us needed an overhauling there. But above all, we tried to be sensible on this question. It’s so easy to get way off the track. Here we find human opinions running to extremes – absurd extremes, perhaps. One set of voices cry that sex is a lust of our lower nature, a base necessity of procreation.
Then we have the voices who cry for sex and more sex; who bewail the institution of marriage; who think that most of the troubles of the race are traceable to sex causes. They think we do not have enough of it, or that it isn’t the right kind. They see its significance everywhere. One school would allow man no flavor for his fare and the other would have us all on a straight pepper diet. We want to stay out of this controversy. We do not want to be the arbiter of anyone’s sex conduct. We all have sex problems. We’d hardly be human if we didn’t. What can we do about them?
We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault, what should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it.
In this way we tried to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life. We subjected each relation to this test – was it selfish or not? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. We remembered always that our sex powers were God-given and therefore good, neither to be used lightly or selfishly nor to be despised and loathed.
Whatever our ideal turns out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. We must be willing to make amends where we have done harm, provided that we do not bring about still more harm in so doing. In other words, we treat sex as we would any other problem. In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if we want it.
God alone can judge our sex situation. Counsel with persons is often desirable, but we let God be the final judge. We realize that some people are as fanatical about sex as others are loose. We avoid hysterical thinking or advice.
Suppose we fall short of the chosen ideal and stumble? Does this mean we are going to get drunk? Some people tell us so. But this is only a half-truth. It depends on us and on our motives. If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.
To sum up about sex: We earnestly pray for the right ideal, for guidance in each questionable situation, for sanity, and for the strength to do the right thing. If sex is very troublesome, we throw ourselves the harder into helping others. We think of their needs and work for them. This takes us out of ourselves. It quiets the imperious urge, when to yield would mean heartache.
If we have been thorough about our personal inventory, we have written down a lot. We have listed and analyzed our resentments. We have begun to comprehend their futility and their fatality. We have commenced to see their terrible destructiveness. We have begun to learn tolerance, patience and good will toward all men, even our enemies, for we look on them as sick people. We have listed the people we have hurt by our conduct, and are willing to straighten out the past if we can.
In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him. If you have already made a decision, and an inventory of your grosser handicaps, you have made a good beginning. That being so you have swallowed and digested some big chunks of truth about yourself.