My self-will is doing what I want in spite of the wishes or orders of others…. I was told it was my self-will run riot. “…if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. 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. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably 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.
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. ” BB How It Works, p.62 Self Will Run Riot
Well, how was that working for me? Not too good I have to admit. I see today that when I get in my own way I tend to feel miserable…. self-will can hardly be a success. BB How It Works, p.60
Much of this post that I write tonight I will be referencing the Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous) Chapter 5 How It Works. Remember especially to any newcomers that have taken to reading my blog, none of what I say are my own “Pearls of Wisdom” I did not get sober and I do not stay sober but for the grace of God and everything I learned in AA and continue to do all those things I learned.
What Chapter 5 How It Works, starts out…”RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path… To me that meant that if I did what you did I could have what you had. What exactly was that back then, danged if I knew. All I knew was that you seemed happy, for some reason you were smiling and happy. I was NOT!!
“Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided that you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.” I listened to the stories and read the stories in the back of the Big Book suggested by my sponsor. She said I would not be able to understand the rest of the book anyway right then. She was absolutely right. So I started to take direction from her and the other members of the fellowship. They even got me to the point, and right quick I may add, of getting up in meetings and sharing my own story. Scared?? HECK yeah!!
“At some of these we balked. We thought that we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.” The prior paragraph says …”then you are ready to follow certain steps.” First time around I wanted to, I wanted to be done and ready….I was a wanna be. However I was not finished drinking, why? I have no idea, never may not understand that part…guess I wasn’t beat up enough, even though I thought I was. But the second time around, I was ready, I was defeated, alcohol beat me into the sate of reasonableness, there was no other way for me to get ‘weller’. I began to do EXACTLY as I was told, no picking and choosing this time, I let go ABSOLUTELY!! “Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.”
“Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find him now. alcohol WON!! It was sneaky, mysterious and strong, oh so powerful! I needed help and it started with people, people who had gotten well before me. Those people explained to me that they would not always be there I was going to have to learn to rely on someone, something else. As time went on I GOT IT, they meant a Higher Power, or God as I have chosen to call that Higher Power. I did not poof become religious over night, I did however, become spiritual. I believe in “something” outside of myself. Thus that self-will does not take total control of me all the time now. I know I am not in charge.
What came next changed my life forever!! I began the journey of a lifetime. I started to do WHAT THEY DID TO GET WHAT THEY HAD!!!…
Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery: