The paragraph you quote points out that selfishness and self-centredness is the root of our troubles. It’s the root of the troubles for anyone ‘born into this human condition’. But, because of our abnormal drinking and the repeated insanity of relapse, the alcoholic becomes an extreme example of this. Also, spirituality in recovery does not exclude competent medical care.
If we are “prey to misery and depression,” and “full of fear,” then we will, of course, look for an anaesthetic of some kind. The spiritual illness that we faced acted as a catalyst for our addiction, and every attempt to self-medicate our spiritual malady pushed us deeper and deeper into the disease.
These spiritual principles and this need that humans have for them are universal. The Big Book (yes, with old-fashioned language) exists to lay out these principles in a way that alcoholics will respond to. I fear that the solution this program offers is being buried under misinformation both inside and outside the rooms. Their personal experiences of religion have understandably shaped what this word means to them and these beliefs can be very hard to shake. For that reason, AA is often confused with being religious. It is a spiritual program, not a religious one, and these are two very different things . This misinterpretation has also, unfortunately, led to abusive practices within the fellowship, where elements of the “program” have been distorted and misrepresented to cause various forms of emotional abuse and harm.
An average person has a stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. That means that it takes over 2,000 steps to walk one mile and 10,000 steps would be almost 5 miles.
There are plenty of people who manage to escape their addiction without using a spiritual program such as the one offered by Alcoholics Anonymous. For me the “spiritual malady” is underpinned by an emotion disorder and makes us over reactive as you say. The Oxford Group said it was a sin disease just as real as any other physical malady, I intend to agree. Sins to me are negative emotions such as self centredness, intolerance, impatience, self pity that impact on my well bing and the well being of others etc. Negative emotions that cut me off from sanity and reason.
The list of emotional difficulties continues throughout the Big book’s first 164 pages. This emotional immaturity is referenced throughout the Big Book I believe. For me this maladjustment to life is not exactly the same as the spiritual disease mentioned in the Oxford Group pamphlet.
Anyone who struggles with a substance use disorder is a warrior – and they need all the support they can get. This work is my rebuttal to the misinformation within the fellowship and the misinformed criticism online of the AA program . I have long wanted to clarify what the program states particularly around spirituality, religion, and powerlessness. Do we need to look more closely at the abuses in the AA fellowship?
Professional therapists teach people to live in the present. AA encourages members to share their experience, strength and hope with other members. https://ecosoberhouse.com/ It is emotionally healthy to accept our past experiences, however painful, as past events and move on to a richer, more fulfilling future.
They do not necessarily come from a Judea-Christian belief structure, just from my own awareness, 12 step practice and years of Neursocience research. As an alcoholic I have found I needed to grow up mentally and emotionally and I agree with the idea of emotional dysfunctionality which I believe is caused, probably, by past trauma or attachment issues. This means that I have hyper-sensitivity and can be over-reactive but I do not believe that I am in any way spiritually deficit. This is a Judea-Christian belief structure of bad versus good and I believe that I did not join AA to become good but well. AA may have started within the Oxford Group but has gradually moved away from their tenets. These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. It is important that when we embark upon this quest to alleviate our spiritual malady that we are not too harsh on ourselves.
I believe my so-called defects of character are linked to my underlying emotional disorder of alcoholism. My inventory of steps 4/5 showed me that my long lists of resentments were mainly the product of emotional immaturity and responding in an immature manner to not getting my way. The psychology and neuropsychology of alcoholism, addictive behaviour and recovery. It is strange paradox, the more you focus on helping others, spiritual malady the more you discover how much you matter. The spiritual aspects of recovery and the ‘God word’ can be an obstacle for many new folks trying to get sober. Hopefully the ideas included in this short writing show that there are many ways to approach these topics. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the YourFirstStep.org hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.