We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called willpower becomes practically non-existent. 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.
– A.A. Big Book, p. 24 (Substitute your own addiction for drink if your addiction is different than alcohol)
This disease is powerful! Very powerful! It says in the literature that it is cunning, baffling, and powerful, and I can tell you from my experience, in all fairness, that might be an understatement. I repeatedly found myself in sick situations and doing things that were way out of character and went against all my morals and beliefs! The fact is that if it were only willpower that was needed this would be a piece of cake! I proved to myself that I have plenty of willpower.
This may not make alot of sense but I want to take a look at the idea of a disease. What is a disease exactly? Mr. Webster says a disease is : a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms.
So what are the symptoms here? For me, when I took that first drink something was triggered immediately. I would go from 0 to 88 in one second! I learned a few years ago this was caused from a physical allergy to alcohol. My body simply did not react like others did to alcohol. A physical allergy that manifested itself by a phenomenon of craving. The definition for the word “allergy” is, an abnormal reaction to any food, liquid, or substance.
The are other symptoms too. The character defects we all have, but in the case of the alcoholic, addict, or spiritually sick, they are very powerful. The lying, stealing, isolating, depression, anger, rage, God hating/blaming the list goes on and on. Usually if one is sharp enough, they can recognize these personality symptoms early on and avoid a relapse.
So what next? We’ve identified in a very basic way what the problem is. I can tell you this, there is no easy way out or quick fix! Rehab won’t even give you a miracle cure, however it will give one a solid foundation on which to begin recovery. The first thing is to know deep down that nomatter what, you are totally screwed! Pardon my bluntness but that’s the way it is. The addict and alcoholic, if they are a true one, are totally doomed! If you can know that deep down in your heart you begin to become willing and open-minded to try a few new suggestions.
Nobody can tell you that you are an addict or alcoholic. If they do what is the normal reaction. Usually they’ll tell you where to go! It is up to you to come to that realization on your own.
It’s all about surrendering to your Higher Power, whatever it is! Find it and use it, because this thing will destroy yours and everyones life that’s around you! I know that the idea of surrendering goes against who we are as human beings, but it is necessary. How can someone turn their life over to something if they are still holding on to old ideals? It is quite frankly impossible! The only thing you have to change is everything! I heard that in a meeting one day and it’s so true.
There are 51 pages in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous dedicated to surrendering. For someone with an ego like mine the idea of surrendering was a major shake to the idea of who I am. It took 3 years for it to finally make sense to me. I hope that whoever reads this realizes that this simple step will open up a beautiful new world. One that is rewarding beyond all comprehension.