Alcoholics are strong
because of what we have endured and what we have learned in AA. We have felt the depths of despair therefore our hearts can soar to great heights. We have a capacity for faith even though we don’t always trust God. Yet the steps taught us how to rely on God and that fear equals courage not failure.
Alcoholics Anonymous offers us a program of spiritual maintenance in the form of steps ten-twelve. And if we use the steps we stay flush with gratitude and our eye-glasses are clear or rose colored. No, this does not mean we are always happy and full of joy. But we are free of guilt and shame if we have done the twelve step purging.
Men and women who experience the pains, trauma, oppression, depression, psychic and extreme emotional stresses of addiction and then over-come that addiction by whatever means tend to have a much greater capacity for spirituality, faith, and Love than people who have not gone through taxing suffering, whether they be addicts or not. We have come through the fire and now we can rest on the knowledge that God has our back. If we fear we are backsliding we have the program to work and strengthen us back up. “Out of the problem, into the solution” is the most valuable cliche’ of all. The good part is we now have the solutions, we don’t have to return to our Hell. These solutions when done in depth not only keep us clean and sober but are also a remedy for depression, anxiety and self loathing.
For one thing we usually are forced to seek a Higher Power diligently, in which case we become enlightened spiritually and psychicly. We then realize that there is a process by which we get fed spiritually on a regular basis. Either by working the Twelve Steps and 10-12 maintenance steps or by attaining our daily bread in a religious way. We in recovery tend to set new life goals at a later age than most people which helps us to be more open-minded with a fresh new outlook on life. All men are equal as a rule but all men are not walking the same walk.
Getting sober in our thirty’s or forty’s tends to awaken us and our brains are jump-started into a new way of thinking far from the stagnant wasteland of the alcoholic muck. Upon awakening we consider the day. We ask God that our thinking be divorced from self-centeredness and self-pity. We make an effort to help others and do no harm. Clearly a person working the program of AA joined to a fellowship of both Love and weakness are there for one another. Many normal people have basically the same things the best of AA offers. It comes under different labels in different flavors and colors but the same basic spiritual tools are available to most people.
The Big Book and A.A. works for so many because the malady of addiction produces common behaviors and personality traits among addicts. Please allow me the same luxury of speaking in the “we” context even though “we” does not necessarily mean “you”. Even though we addicts have many similarities we also have many differences . I am well aware of that. We do tend to wear our emotions on our sleeves in the first few years of sobriety after all we have been through allot and usually no one taught us healthy ways to deal with our feelings. We have the fourth step fear list which helps so much when we get bogged down with any negative emotion. If our sponsors have taught us the fourth step in full then we have done our fear list.. I have found that I use the fourth step when anger becomes too much for me. Thank God for AA.