Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Specific

When I was new, I found AA infuriating, because I heard a lot of platitudes about drinking and recovery but not a lot in the way of specifics about exactly what alcoholism consisted of, exactly why I was so unhappy in every other regard, exactly what my attitude and behaviour should be instead, and exactly how I should get from A to B.

At eight years sober, or so, I left AA for a while because I was up against a wall of despair at my failure to wrest happiness and satisfaction from my life and in AA was met, once again, with general platitudes in AA about how one should not take things so seriously and how one should just trust or take things a day at a time. I didn't drink, eventually returned to AA, and gradually found the solutions I was looking for.

I went to a meeting yesterday which was absolutely delightful, with wonderful people who clearly had relationships with God and were substantially at peace. If I hadn't had a spiritual awakening myself, however, I would have had trouble connecting because there was little in the way of specifics: problem, solution, and how to get from A to B.

I always endeavour to share on these three areas, to try and help anyone who is as frustrated as I was, both new and sober a while.

What is the problem?

A body that craves more alcohol when it drinks.
A mind that thinks alcohol is a solution despite negative consequences.
A spirit that seeks salvation in sex, money, power, prestige, comfort, thrills and appearance (the seven false gods).

What is the solution?

Never drinking again.
Establishing a relationship with God in recognition of the fact that the seven false gods referred to above are decorations of life, not its substance, and that the real substance lies in becoming a channel for God's grace to transform the lives of the people around me.

How do you get from A to B?

Take the Steps.

In particular:

Recognise the truth in Step One
Stop seeing myself as being so different in Step Two
Recognise the failure of the material life and the life of the ego in Step Three
Realise in Step Four I've been on a wild goose chase my whole life and forgive everyone for everything on the basis that their obedience to my wishes would not have yielded happiness anyway
Get rid of the sense of separateness in Step Five
Admit universal failure in Step Six
Humbly commit to a solution in Step Seven
See myself from other people's point of view in Step Eight
Build bridges in Step Nine
Become a guardian of my own thinking in Step Ten
Create a spiritual superhighway in Step Eleven
Bring heaven down to earth through sponsorship and service in Step Twelve.

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