Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The icks...

A few of my friends in AA have been going through what I call "the icks" lately.  I had a sponsor I used to call up (often) and say: "...the sick is on me bad today..." and then I'd launch into the familiar diatribe about how bad my life was and how hopeless all appeared.

This sponsor's solution was largely centered around inventory and prayer and meditation.  I have nothing against those - they are cornerstones to our program of recovery.  I'm grateful for all he taught me about those tools that I still use today.

After he fired me, I got hooked up with my current sponsor and he's pretty much of another persuasion - when you're under the oppression of alcoholism (real alcoholics will probably understand this), when you're into what I've hear called at east coast meetings "stinkin' thinkin'", his solution is to look for an immediate opportunity to be of service.  The more consuming this is (sponsorship, chairing a committee, starting a group, jail/detox meetings, helping your kids or wife - doesn't have to be an alcoholic - etc.) the better.

While at face value this seems to just be a distraction, I can't tell you how many times this has worked wonders for me in terms of getting past my own head enmeshed in fear and darkness.  It is, after all, what our Big Book book recommends.  It's solution for my darkness and despair is not (only) changing sponsors, going to another dance, seeking a more intense 3rd step experience, changing churches or gurus, changing diet, getting more exercise, going to a therapist, changing medications, etc.  Some of these items (and others) might be the right thing to do sometimes.

But, what Bill discovered was: "...I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day..." (BB p. 15).  This suggestion is repeated a number of times in our book.

The fact that today, most days, I can get one foot in front of another to make progress toward some sort of real solution is a miracle that is beyond my wildest imagination.  It is evidence of God's grace in my life.


Syd said...

Great post. I do best when helping others in a good way. Not the self-serving way of the past but in doing service and being of service. Thanks Ed.

The Turning Point said...

My sponsor also would tell me when I got into one of those cesspool of pity to "pick your ass off the chair and go do something, anything for
someone else, no matter how small."
Helps it even helps in the good times.

great post


Mary Christine said...

This real alcoholic understands this.

enchantedoak said...

Chris A