he was pretty broken up about his relapse
2 months ago
"I've been sick..."OK - that doesn't work for me either, but it's the closest to the truth that I can find today.
"...my relationship with my character defects in my life today is like, I'm eating a 1/2 gallon of ice cream out of the carton and suddenly discover a turd - right there in the middle of my ice cream. I am disgusted and it sickens me. I feel violated and angry.I do exactly the same thing with character defects. I've been around long enough and done the work in the program of A.A. so that I always recognize them when they crop up. But, after initially being repulsed by them, I will think "...maybe I'm really OK with self pity this time..." or "...yeah, it's resentment but it's justified and I'm only human..." or "...it's true I'm being selfish but she's being more selfish..." or ...
Then, I think about it some and I notice that it looks like it's really just one solid chunk in the middle. I really like the ice cream and it seems like a waste to throw out the whole carton. I'm sort of hungry. I think 'I could probably just nibble around the edges of the carton a little...' I wonder how close to the chunk is safe to eat. ..."
"... We are average Americans. All sections of this country and many of its occupations are represented, as well as many political, economic, social, and religious backgrounds. We are people who normally would not mix. ..." BB p. 17It wasn't until just reflecting on that now, some 7 hours later, that this young man is less than 1/2 my age. I've been sober longer than this guy has been alive. He has never known a world "before the Internet." etc. He's in school. I've forgotten what that could even possibly feel like. He's dating and wildly raging in hormones and life and death feelings about acceptance and approval. I've pretty much forgotten what that feels like as well.
"Many a man, yet dazed from his hospital experience, has stepped over the threshold of that home into freedom. Many an alcoholic who entered there came away with an answer. He succumbed to that gay crowd inside, who laughed at their own misfortunes and understood his. Impressed by those who visited him at the hospital, he capitulated entirely when, later, in an upper room of this house, he heard the story of some man whose experience closely tallied with his own. The expression on the faces of the women, that indefinable something in the eyes of the men, the stimulating and electric atmosphere of the place, conspired to let him know that here was haven at last." BB - pp. 160I just love that....
"... We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. 'How can I best serve Thee--Thy will (not mine) be done.' These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will." BB - pp. 85So, what I understand for today is that I get to apply my will to learning how to serve God. How can I be useful? What can I contribute? Where can I offer love and tolerance?
"...For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that." (my emphasis added) BB pp. 14-15I've not felt like it much of the time recently. I've been in fear. I'm embarrassed I've been in fear. I've been selfish. I've been embarrassed about being selfish. The list goes on but I recognize it from when I hear it from myself and others. It's just character defects as expressed in the latest drama of the day.
"The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. ... Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. ...Seems pretty clear: Problem = Self
"... What usually happens? The show doesn't come off very well. ... He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. ... Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? ... And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?
"Our actor is self-centered--ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. ... Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?
"Selfishness--self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. 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. ...
"So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! ... Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. ... We had to have God's help.
" ...First of all, we had to quit playing God. ... Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. ... "
(3rd step promises?)
" ... (1) We had a new Employer. ... (2) He provided what we needed ... (3) we became less and less interested in ourselves ... (4) More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. ... (5) we felt new power flow in ... (6) we enjoyed peace of mind ... (7) we discovered we could face life successfully ... (8) we became conscious of His presence ... (9) we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. (10) We were reborn.
" ... 'God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!' ... " BB pp. 60-63