There is a program out there, gifted to those afflicted with the disease of alcoholism, that is the answer to ALL of our spiritual suffering. One of the founders of this program, Bill W., had a spiritual experience and was then divinely directed to write the book-titled Alcoholics Anonymous-which has gone on to help so many recover. According to the founders of the program, those of us gifted with recovery are responsible to be there for all of those suffering-especially Alcoholics. One of the many direct contradictions newcomers to our program are experiencing….are there are not many recovered members or ex-problem drinkers left! Only those that can tell you exactly how to manage your physical sobriety with directions that did not come from the “God-consciousness within.” Directions like 90 meetings in 90 days, getting commitments, take a spot check inventory…anything and everything other than the program of Recovery as laid out in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, changes were approved to bring us even further from Recovery which is why I am so grateful, for the original text and foundation of the program.
This program of Recovery has been condensed down and outright overlooked. To quote Dr. Montgomery “People are joining the fellowship of AA and not surrendering to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.” Dr. Montgomery has a recovery date today that goes back over 62 years and having had the privilege of attending meetings and working with many of the 12-step recovery founding fathers, Dr. Montgomery continues to spread Recovery through the members of Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center.
One of the things I found hard to overcome was this feeling deep within my innermost self every time I had to identify as an alcoholic even after years of sobriety. You know how people do positive incantations and speak into the positive what they want…positive energy right? At meetings you have to say several times that you are an alcoholic, you have to identify your entire being as the disease that you are suffering from and never transition to verbalizing recovery. To go even further, those of us that have been gifted recovery as stated in the book are met with pitchforks at local southern California aa meetings if we do not say several times that we are alcoholic…told that we must never forget where we came from! What is that and where does that come from?! We are told to ignore what God has done and is doing for us and identify as the disease that is in remission. What fellowship are the newcomers supposed to be attracted to?
I did not know how much it was effecting me until I was brought on my knees in sobriety to the Hollywood and Vine Recovery Center’s founder looking for any relief from my suffering. I was sick and tired of working my program so hard I was exhausted.
One of the first eye openers was Dr. Montgomery notifying me that Bill W. (one of the founders of 12-step recovery) wrote a letter to central office of Alcoholics Anymous asking why people were starting to identify as alcoholics. He went on to state that this disease we are afflicted with does not define who we are and we are to accept the gift of recovery for those of us who had been granted such a gift.
This is a picture of the Foreward to the first edition…which in many ways is the same as the current Forewards being printed.
It was refreshing, I was not the disease that I suffered from more than I was the recovered mind and body that one day at a time I am gifted. It is okay to accept the recovery that is promised in these pages and to speak the truth when talking about your disease and this was so freeing for me.
I urge those who have had the spiritual experience brought on as a result of the 12 steps and that live the life of recovery as promised in the Alcoholics Anonymous book, identify in their recovery at meetings or at least as it states in the book with regards to identifying as “…a member of alcoholics anonymous”. Everywhere you go speak the truth of what God as done for you in your life rather than the disease you suffered from. You may want to go even further and look into exactly what recovery is defined as in the book and ask yourself if you are in fact, Recovered.
At least question whether you are suffering from the disease of addiction, afflicted with the disease of addiction…but you are not the disease of addiction! You are your recovery, and for that you are responsible!
Thus, Bill W. was speaking from the same spiritual place that created this spiritual program when he wrote the letter requesting we stop identifying as alcoholics, we do not have to remind ourselves of our disease every time we open our mouths to speak in a room of Alcoholics Anonymous. If that is your group conscience I hope you speak the truth of what God has done in your life more than you remind others of the disease that is or can be arrested as a result of a spiritual experience.
Alcoholics are not the only people who take life one day at a time as that is all any of us have-we live in the Eternal Now.
I hope if you find your spirit suffering you seek a spiritual remedy. I have personally experienced this spiritual program remove the suffering of suicidal adolescents, what some have considered outright mental defects, emotionally disturbed individuals, and mostly have seen many sober alcoholics as of recent surrender to recovery before succumbing to relapse. You do not have to find a spiritual solution….simply seek. You may find yourself on the journey the 12 steps will guide you on, a journey to a new freedom and self actualization most will never know.
With love and light
A member of Alcoholics Anonymous