RECOVERED OR RECOVERING? Click here to read summary
Page 64 Big Book: Our liquor was but a symptom. We HAD TO get down to causes and conditions.
Here’s the thing. Recovery is a process. It can be dangerous for a person under approx. 5 to 7 years (w/variables) sober to adapt the “recovered” view point because you know what they might do. I don’t believe anyone should stop going to meetings until they truly are fully recovered and/or know how to apply the steps in their daily life.
Who is recovered?
Those who have recovered have developed a connection with their HP. They know how and have meditated for years. They stay in the maintenance steps 10, 11, 12, AND THEY RE-DO STEP FOUR/FIVE OR TEN WHEN RESENTMENT POPS UP. They know how to revisit Step Three and say “That’s right, God’s got my back”. They don’t pretend and wear a mask of constant serenity (excluding the pink cloud). They write an occasional fear list and ask God to remove their defects, fears, and so on. And they have built a network of people or at least one person who THEY CAN TELL ANYTHING. They have done years of twelve step work relentlessly. Or they work and are familiar with some semblance of these exercises.
Until a member has worked through the emotional issues which drove them to drink and drug to begin with all they are doing in A.A. is adapting a series of distractions and a spiritual safety net which is A.A. (there are exceptions like spiritual deliverance and healings that can happen in an instant, there are miracles and healings in and out of A.A.). EVERYONE LETS UP ON THEIR SPIRITUAL PROGRAM at one time or another.
The primary emotional pain and addict habits need to be expelled in an emotionally healthy way. If the core emotional pain is not alleviated, then as soon as a person lets up on their spiritual program they are in danger of relapse (unless they have had a miracle).
Alternatively, if a person has worked with the right therapist or sponsor then when they let up on their spiritual program they won’t fall into a deep relentless depression, anxiety, fear of feelings and become paralyzed again. Their shame and self-loathing has been healed.
These examples are my experience by years of working the program various ways with/without therapy. With/without spiritual experiences and so on. What I am saying is under normal conditions there needs to be other aspects of recovery besides the spiritual, and the 12 steps for a man to be safe in the “recovered” zone and safely stop going to meetings without mishap. Some sponsors do allow a person to work through wrongs done to them and the issues of shame, fear, and feelings of insecurity and the causes. But other sponsors consider “feelings” to have nothing whatsoever to do with or without recovery. Meaning; they think their addiction is due to some obscure DNA or chemical make-up and that it has nothing to do with their life’s events. Leaving them the freedom to deny reason for any deep heart-wrenching emotional processes. Like addressing abuse, neglect, and a lack of childhood nurturing. Granted the gene THEORY has it’s merit to an extent. But DNA is by no means the whole ball of addiction wax. (in my opinion) There are so many variables only YOU know if you have recovered. What I share are the circumstances behind my own recovery and the people close to me who are/were in the program.
The same man WILL drink again
Spiritual health fades if the spiritual food is not taken in regularly.
If we let up on our spiritual program but our core reason for drinking has been worked through or removed (which can happen by working with the right sponsor, therapist, empath, brother, sister, priest,) sure we won’t be as fulfilled spiritually but we won’t be sick and diseased either. We won’t have a desire to drink.
You will just be a human who lacks fulfillment but does not want to drink and drug because you have nothing to numb out, blot out. You have been restored. And if you know how to use a fear list you got the lies in your head by the gonads.
Some people won’t ever truly recover no matter how many times they work the steps and no matter how many years they stay sober because they refuse or are incapable of going back to their real reason for drinking. They won’t revisit their childhood and they won’t admit they are afraid to anybody. That would be shameful to them. And they won’t admit they are deeply ashamed of who they are and things they have done. These people dare not stop going to meetings and they dare not let up on their spiritual program cause as soon as the spiritual safety net and distractions of A.A. are gone they will be right back to the pain. GET REAL TO HEAL. While others don’t keep embarrassing secrets pent up. They know it’s better to save their ass than save their face.
WE ARE AS SICK AS OUR SECRETS!