"If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such codes and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried. We could wish to be moral, we could wish to be philosophically comforted, in fact, we could will these things with all our might, but the needed power wasn't there."
(Big Book pages 44 - 45)
"Our human resources, as marshaled by the will, were not sufficient. They failed utterly."
(Big Book page 45)
"For I do not understand my own actions.
For I do not do what I want,
but I do the very thing I hate."
(Paul, as quoted in Romans 7:15)
Do I have power over the next drink?
Can I control the amount I drink after I take that first drink?
What happens when I try to limit the amount I drink?
I know from looking at and getting back into my experience that I don't drink like a "normal" person.
When I take a drink, I want another and another and another....
I don't want to start drinking if there isn't enough.
The Doctor's Opinion calls it "the phenomenon of craving."
I didn't come to AA because I drank too much, but because I just couldn't drink enough.
I have it. So... don't drink, right? That leads me to look at my sickened mind.
Do I have power over the first drink?
Can I control the thinking that leads me back to the first drink?
Can I choose to not drink?
I can't stay stopped on my own because from a sober state of mind I justify the first drink.
A slimy serpent slips up my back to whisper:
"You aren't really an alcoholic."
"This time it will be different."
"Aren't you making a big deal out of a small one, as usual?"
"Don't tell anyone you have these thoughts."
"This reality is so bad. What's the use?"
OR it doesn't say anything at all and keeps me in total denial.
Why do alcoholics drink again,
addicts use again?
bulimics binge/purge again,
gamblers gamble again,
debtors debt again,
thieves steal again,
liars lie again,
ragers rage again,
sex addicts, have sex again,
abuse victims submit again,...
again and again and again and again?
My mind is powerless to protect me.
"The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink."
- Big Book page 24
Do I have power over my self-centeredness?
Can I deliver myself from my own ego?
Can I control my thinking and/or emotions such as self-centered fear, unsupportable pain, anger, rage, self-pity,
untenable old ideas, false paradigms?
that we think is the root of our problem.
Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity,
we step on the toes of our fellows
and they retaliate,
seemingly without provocation,
but we invariably we find that at some time in the past
we have made decisions based on self,
which later placed us in a position to be hurt."
What truth does my experience show me?
Can I control and enjoy my drinking (using, binging, gambling...) once I start?
Can I stay stopped on my own power or do I find myself returning to the same cycle?
How am I when I stop ______?
Am I loving, focused, thoughtful, and joyful?
Am I restless, irritable, discontent? bedeviled?
Am I outwardly behaving but inwardly tortured?
Is drinking the problem or the solution?
Am I the problem?
"We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people - was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight? Of course it was."
- Big Book page 52
"The Weeping Buddha" by Sara Stevenson