One of the most painful things to witness in Recovery is when people take back their will. There connection to their Higher Power and the people around them slowly turn from one of harmony to total antagonism.
The world then becomes a threat at every turn, and they must protect themselves from. Whether the person is a few months clean, or 40 years, the 1 day at a time period of grace somehow gets totally forgotten about. We start grasping for more and more control as our once cultivated serenity fades away.
Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power? Well. That’s exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. p 45 Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12 steps are a revolutionary tool of introspection, but the liberating powers of the steps often don’t last long if not constantly nurtured in all of a person’s aspects of your life. I have met several individuals who have worked their asses off on a honest set of steps, only to find themselves relapsing. Unconsciously hoping to drown their suffering spirits once and for all.
In the book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves. p.70-71 Alcoholics Anonymous
I too have found myself at a jumping off point more than once in over the years of recovery. It almost feels like an external blitzkrieg is taking place on those terrifying days. You remarkably find yourself contemplating the idea of returning to the bottle even though it has proven itself insanely destructive in your life. These are the days we feel so deeply forsaken by God that the only relief to our struggle will come from another drink. Insanity somehow grabs hold of us and our decision making capacity goes haywire. We attempt to convince ourselves that this time it will be different. It never is, and it can often be much worse.
The more baffling part of it all, is that most of us don’t even recognize how far we have distanced ourselves from the solution during these moments of insanity. We have become incapable of being rigorously honest with ourselves, about where our heads are at and what we need to do to get grounded again.
This wild adventure the mind takes us on never seems to be fully eradicated either. An outsider’s perspective can often witness the subtle changes in downward spiral of the brother or sister in recovery, but originator of the brilliant thoughts seems to pass miss out on the obvious malfunctioning of mind. They are often too close to the problem, which is self. As mentioned earlier, I have seen first hand the results of people picking up another drink or drug again after months, or even decades, due to this always returning devil on their shoulder.
After being gently reminded about this monster, does it make you want to rethink your commitment of going to any lengths in recovery?
What pain, trauma, and confusion are you willing to endure to stay sober? When it appears the world and God has seemingly turned their back on you, will you persist in your marching orders?
For me, it got so bad that I found myself praying on my knees for God to take me away once and for all.
But fortunately for me, that wasn’t what God had in store for me, and thankfully he doesn’t answer all of my selfish prayers I lift up. I’m still here baby!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Book of James – New Testament