First off it isn't fair to suggest the Big Book 12 Steps as the only way, original, perfect, primary, absolute..I know plenty of self admitted alcoholics who are in recovery without it's suggested Spiritual process in their lives. But don't get me wrong, for me it is Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a full life without alcohol for those who are able to make an admission of hopelessness. So sure it may seem too intense for those who are maybe not that mangled, not at the jumping off point, are fortunate to still have a bit of self will, are still with enablers or even teachable.. The truth I've seen over and over is just because you say you're an addict? does not make you a hopeless alcoholic. To those who are still capable of reading and applying? Great, good for you. My interest is in those like myself who are hell bent on self destruction, who have been badly mangled by their selfishness and fear, those who drank to die and were unsuccessful. The alcohol no longer did it's job. It left us empty, void of life.
Principles, who knew? Oh I had moral convictions for everyone else, claiming myself judge and jury to the world. Moral convictions, philosophies that governed others lives, but for me? I had nothing, I stood for nothing, I was nothing and going nowhere. All I had was my arrangements of others, this was my purpose. Jobs, blameless wives and children, girlfriends, friends, history repeating itself with new names and faces every week, month, year, decade. So when someone mentioned principles at an AA meeting? I really had no idea what they were talking about. Did they mean I should get a better group of people in my life to arrange? Principles were one of the keys to living sober, they said.. Nope, still nothing. Principles were something I was bound by each day of my new life sober. Louder? nothing, I just didn't get it.
Somewhere between meetings, meetings, meetings, and the spark of willingness I found? It was suggested to ask a Spiritual Higher Power for guidance? There was a shadow of a man/child, me. I could not make out any defining character, no identity really, no solid features, just a figure in the mirror. A male, late 20's. No future ahead and a past of nothing but pain and suffering. Even the seemingly best of times were contaminated, I was there. Nomatter the situation I was there and I was at fault for ruining it. The guilt and shame was all I saw when I looked to myself. Half the time I didn't even know why? I only knew that if I was there I was bad and I was in everything with my extreme self centeredness. How could I get rid of me when I was me? Alcohol was no longer working, I had no choice but to look at myself. Why the leper? Why do I hate myself so? I don't get it? I've never been all that bad! Oh sure I'm a sinner or loser or whatever, but nothing that would land me in prison? I'm guilty of believing others opinions. I'm guilty of being weak! I'm guilty of worshipping people and their opinions of me over my own. I can be happy with myself and if others are not? The others have it, they're always right. They hold the power. Everyone was everything and I was nothing...Ok, so what's the solution? Is there even one for me?