Gratitude List 01/02/2019
I’ve been re-reading the Big Book. Despite the book being about alcoholism I have never had a problem relating the content to my own compulsions. I’ve mentioned it before, but there are certain passages that have proved to be vital moments in my life. It happened again last night. The following passage has always reminded me of the insanity of my thinking and the countless attempts to control my illness.
‘Here are some of the methods we have tried: Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, switching from scotch to brandy, drinking only natural wines, agreeing to resign if ever drunk on the job, taking a trip, not taking a trip, swearing off forever (with and without a solemn oath), taking more physical exercise, reading inspirational books, going to health farms and sanitariums, accepting voluntary commitment to asylums—we could increase the list ad infinitum.’
I can relate totally. Today I am grateful for this reminder.
Gratitude List 27/01/2019
Last night served up a reminder of one of the many stories that helped my recovery. Almost 2 years ago, I began to go through the Big Book. I don’t have a drinking problem (yet) but it made no difference at all that the book was initially written for the alcoholic. By simply substituting one word to another I could relate to the contents almost 100%. The words are magic to me and played a huge role in changing my life. Today I am grateful for this amazing text. Text that, despite there being 4 editions, has been left untouched (bar the experiences shared in the back) for 90 years. Today I would like to share the story of the Jaywalker. This story helped me understand that all addictions share huge similarities, and therefore share one solution.
“Our behavior is as absurd and incomprehensible with respect to the first drink as that of an individual with a passion, say, for jay-walking. He gets a thrill out of skipping in front of fast-moving vehicles. He enjoys himself for a few years in spite of friendly warnings. Up to this point you would label him as a foolish chap having queer ideas of fun. Luck then deserts him and he is slightly injured several times in succession. You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out. Presently he is hit again and this time has a fractured skull. Within a week after leaving the hospital a fast-moving trolley car breaks his arm. He tells you he has decided to stop jay-walking for good, but in a few weeks he breaks both legs.”
“On through the years this conduct continues, accompanied by his continual promises to be careful or to keep off the streets altogether. Finally, he can no longer work, his wife gets a divorce and he is held up to ridicule. He tries every known means to get the jaywalking idea out of his head. He shuts himself up in an asylum, hoping to mend his ways. But the day he comes out he races in front of a fire engine, which breaks his back. Such a man would be crazy, wouldn’t he?”
“You may think our illustration is too ridiculous. But is it? We, who have been through the wringer, have to admit if we substituted alcoholism or any addiction for jay-walking, the illustration would fit exactly. However intelligent we may have been in other respects, where alcohol has been involved, we have been strangely insane. It’s strong language but isn’t it true?”