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

Thoughts for Recovery – No. 74 – Recovery from Alcoholism – Part 1

This thought will focus on a chart I made to help new people see on paper how I see recovery from alcoholism. See chart under links and documents titled recovery from alcoholism

Chuck C. in his famous new pair of glasses talk, stated there is only one problem. Conscious separation. One solution. Conscious contact. That is the whole deal. How do I go from conscious separation to conscious contact with God?

I lived my whole life in a world I created. I call that the world of my alcoholism.  It is a world  where I was the center of the universe. In my mind I consciously separated from the real world where God is the center and includes the rest of the world. Why did I do this? On page 61 it asks the question was I not the victim of the delusion that I could wrest satisfaction and happiness in this world if I only managed well. This delusion created a world where what I wanted and needed  depended on my management. It was a lonely world and it never worked. Why? Because I was the manager and not God! My thinking and actions were driven by me and I was an example of self will run riot. The problems I had were of my own making. They arose out of me living in this world I created, separated from God. When I look back I could see I made the decisions, no one else, that caused me harm and caused me to harm others. If I separate from God my life will never work!

 How does this relate to my alcoholism? When I live in my world I am irritable, restless, and discontented. What does that really mean? Irritable means things and people and events are always bothering me because it is not going Michael’s way. Restless because I have no peace and serenity. Discontented because I am only content if I get what I want from people and they follow my script for them. The result is that I was in conflict with everyone and everything. This is well described on pages 60-62. A life run on self will will never work.

A life run on self will is manifested by wrong thoughts and action. On page 64 these are called wrongs. In my alcoholic world I manifested wrong judgement which we call resentment. Wrong beliefs which are self centered fears. Wrong actions which harmed others and produced shame and guilt. How does this relate to alcohol?   I seek the ease and comfort of alcohol to relieve me from the pain of living separated from God.. Alcohol was a solution to how I felt living separated from God. It changed the way I felt. It changed the way I saw the world. 

My mind learned that this was the effect of alcohol and would seek it whenever things didn’t go my way.  The problem was I am an  alcoholic and have an allergy to alcohol manifested by the phenomenon of craving. Once alcohol entered my system I had no control over the amount I drank. This can not be treated or ever changed. So the real problem centers in my mind SOBER. 

An alcoholic, sober, living without God, will never have a defense against the first drink. Why? He will never be able to live without being irritable, restless, and discontented. He will live in fear, constantly getting disturbed , and take actions to harm himself and others. His mind will constantly be seeking alcohol to treat this condition. The problem for him is he is having consequences from alcohol and it stops working.  As long as he is separated from God in his alcoholic world he has no power against the first drink. NONE. NEVER.  Will power or self knowledge will not be an effective defense because right before he takes the first drink he can only see what alcohol is going to do for him not to him. 

I cannot recover from alcoholism and continue to live in my self centered world. Recovery from alcoholism begins when I see that I cannot live the way I have been. I became  completely defeated to living this way. There was a moment when I faced the truth that I have a hopeless and futile condition. I can’t fix it. I got down on my knees and said God help me. I had hit bottom. I said I will do anything you ask of me. I can’t go on like this anymore.  This was the beginning of my recovery.

 The act of complete surrender is the beginning of me moving out of my self centered world seeking God and direction for my life. It is the beginning of turning away from myself to God.

In part two I will look at how steps 1-3  relate to recovery from alcoholism.

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