I discovered this by rereading some books I first read in 1994 and 1995.
What is the solution? Apart from the obvious: do everything suggested in the Big Book without hesitation or deviation, there is a philosophical aspect:
The world you see is not there. It is in your head. Atoms are there, energy in its various forms is there, but at subatomic level there is no solidity: only space inbetween subatomic particles, plus forces giving the appearance of solidity. 'The world' is a construct in your head. In my head. How do we know the construct is not real? Because almost no one agrees on anything they think they see. Even when something is indeed largely agreed on, for instance the bridge between Sweden and Denmark, the notion 'bridge' is a construct: all that is there is atoms.
So far so good. So what? Well, to take it a step further: my upset in any situation is predicated (a) on a perception of reality and (b) on a story I am telling myself about that perception of reality. Both are constructed and projected outwards. This is not seeing: this is projection. I believe that reality is happening to me. It is not. I am creating it moment by moment by the thoughts that I (a) have and (b) believe.
Lastly: I am not the body my body's eyes tell me I inhabit. It's where my physical vision resides, but that it is.
I am spirit. Nothing bad has ever happened to me: I have never left God's side. Everything else in an illusion. I am entirely safe. The 'events of the world' appear to happen to the body and to 'circumstances' but cannot happen to me.
From that perspective my only purpose is to ask my Source: What do you want me to do? And then I trust I will be given the strength to do it.
The past is literally gone. It cannot hurt me. It never could. I can tell myself a story in the present about the significance of the story I invent about the events I believe I experienced in the past. But then it is the story that is appearing to hurt me, not the past.
Ditto the future.
The only remaining question: why did I hold out so long before accepting this?
'But suffering is real. You can't deny reality. Bad things happened to me in my childhood. I was formed by them. Look around you. Trauma is hard to get over. It stays with you for ever. My upbringing, my parents, my genetic predisposition, my formative experiences, all of these have contrived to make me the way I am, and I have to accept that. Life does not stop happening just because I am sober, and you have to take the rough with the smooth. Life is supposed to be difficult and challenging. That is what makes it worthwhile. Darkness is real. Unhappiness is real. Depression is real. Anxiety is real. Bad people exist. Bad people do things. You can't deny that: history tells us. The point of recovery is to give me tools to manage my negative emotions. The point of recovery is certainly not to strip me of my humanity, because my humanity resides in the interplay between light and dark. You're telling me just to trust God and get on with serving God, but that's black-and-white thinking, and black-and-white thinking is part of my dis-ease. I've since learned to embrace all of the colours in between, and to accept my human frailty. That means accepting my suffering. This austere ideal of yours: total reliance on God, well, that just smacks of perfectionism, and that, too, is part of my dis-ease: I have learned in recovery: "do not should all over yourself" and that the shoulds and musts are counterproductive. So, thanks but no thanks: the job is to integrate all these different parts of myself, not to deny them.'
You see, it's very convincing. I was almost convinced myself.
But then I come back to this, a simple idea I have worked with for years, now, and have realised is the trump card that neutralises all counterargument, because, whatever my objections to the truth, living in accordance with it proves it is true:
'This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.'
This idea cannot easily be sold, because its acceptance causes the world as we know it to vanish, and the only people who are willing to risk this are the people that are done, done, done. And at fifteen years sober, over ten years ago now, I was done, done, done. And the curtain dropped.