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- July 27, 2016 at 9:59 pm#39869
I’ve been thinking alot about this topic lately and wanted to share my ideas and see what others think.
The issue is this: when do we truly get the truth of our powerlessness? Obviously the path differs for each person, and we know that 100,000 people each year in the United States alone never quite get it– they die an alcoholic death.
I see it this way: eventually, the true alcoholic will stop drinking– it’s just the manner in which they stop. I think there are three ways: recovery, jails/institutions, or death. One of the three is going to get me if I’m powerless. The trick is getting to recovery before the other two.
I’m sure many alcoholics have discovered their truth when they woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed with a cop reading them their rights. At that point, it becomes much more clear. Problem is, the rules have changed– abstinence is no longer optional. It will be provided for you by the state.
And, for those who die the alcoholic death, I would imagine there’s a moment at the end where the truth must be pretty clear: “Holy crap, this is what they meant when they said powerless!”
Can the alcoholic get to their truth before it’s brought to them? And what are the characteristics of those who understand the consequences of continued drinking without experiencing them?
I believe my three years of relapsing, and all that went with it– were a gift. It qualified me as the alcoholic described in the Big Book, and reduced the options I had if I wanted to survive, to one. But I could have easily died during that process, or wound up in jail– I’m no better than the alcoholic who does. Maybe it’s chance, maybe it’s a power greater than me, maybe a combination of the two.
The moment of realization– the jumping off point– is not something we can bring people to, I don’t think. It’s got to be profound enough to create a compelling reality, but not so profound it kills. It may happen over time.
I just find the idea interesting…thought I would float it…
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