AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts of Recovery – No.17 – The Spiritual Malady – Step 1

I want to make clear to members that these thoughts are not definitive treatise on the subjects. Just an attempt to stimulate thought or discussion and provide information based on my study and experience. Today I look further at the disease of alcoholism focusing on it as a spiritual malady.

It says on page 64 that I suffer from a spiritual disease. “For we have been not only mentally and physically ill, we have been spiritually sick. When the spiritual malady is overcome we straighten out mentally and physically.”

When it says a spiritual disease what does that mean?  I was dis-ease with the spirit. I was separated from the spirit. When they use the term spiritual malady what do they mean?  A malady is an illness , sickness, or disordered condition. Now the spirit was not ill, the condition means that I was in conflict or disordered condition with the spirit.

The spiritual malady is the result of my being out of order with my higher power who I choose to call God. I was the manager or director of my life. I was playing God . I was the director in the drama of life and managing the world so I could  get what I thought I needed to feel ok. The problem was playing God. It didn’t work. I was in conflict with everyone and everything. Fear and resentment dominated my thoughts and I made decisions based on self which caused me harm and harmed others. My playing God was insane because I am not God. Therefore my illness is a result of relying on self.

Selfishness and self -centeredness is the root of my trouble. My troubles are of my own making and arise out my living a life run on self-will. I must be God centered instead of self centered and God directed rather than self directed . How do I accomplish this? The program of recovery . The 12 steps. The specific directions in the first 102 pages of the book  Alcoholic Anonymous.

Tomorrow I will look at the relationship between my self- centeredness and alcohol.

Welcome any comments or send me email mhurwitz50@gmail.com

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  1. Natalie G. on July 26, 2019 at 3:05 am

    SO good thank you! Went to a meeting and she mentioned spiritual malady, didn’t know what meant…THANK YOU!!

    • Dr. Mike on August 2, 2019 at 11:28 pm

      Natalie glad u found it helpful

  2. Wayne on November 28, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    That was most helpful thank you very much

  3. Javier Burgo on October 2, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you! Dr. Mike. My name is Javier and I live in Maui Hawaii for the past 33 years. I’m 71 years old and have been in A.A since 1982 Palm Springs area Ca. When I think of a “Spiritual Malady” often I think of the word “CONDITION” meaning “The Brain” has been condition through influences through out life time. People, places and things. And that affected my “Spiritual Condition”…”FEARS” ..that’s why the book call for spiritual [practices like, “Prayer and Mediation” but, ACTION!!….Service work, has been my solution to stay divorced from self-centeredness, self-pity….Steps #10-#11 and #12 Self examination, prayer and meditation it’s my own experience that the brain needs retraining through ACTIONS!!…and so you know, I went back out with 20 years of sobriety. today, it has been ONLY! by the grace of God that i am sober/clean and restored to sanity since Sept 21 2019. I’m volunteer at the Maui Memorial Hospital and I’m H & I representative here in Maui working on starting a meeting at the M.M.H Molokini Ward. Our psychiatric/mental Institution where I was a patient twice in the past…the Gift was given to give?….Mahalo from Maui, Hawaii. Aloha, Dr. Mike

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