This is greatly inspirational for those who have just come into the room when the mountain looks impossible to climb. Seeing the same traits that were harmful before, turn to assets and lead to a more incredible life is often the first thing that attracts newer members to recovery. What many people do not know is that the disease of alcoholism is deeper than an allergy and mental obsession. Our alcoholic life is really the symptom of a spiritual malady.
How many musts are in the AA Big Book?
While the program is considered a suggested method for dealing with the disease of Alcoholism, there are places within the Big Book where the authors used the word 'MUST. ' The following is a list of the 40 Musts from the Big Book.
Some of us have this knawing feeling of not being good enough, have a hole in the soul which we are/were kinda always unconsciously trying to protect, shield from the world. Some of us are “people pleasers”, some of us are dismissive towards others. It is all manipulating our interaction https://ecosoberhouse.com/ with others to our selfish ends. How do you prepare for life after treatment, and what kind of help do you need? Ever wonder what a chronic relapser is and how they can affect your family? If you are an alcoholic, then you know you cannot just put the plug in the jug and quit.
Thoughts of Recovery – No.17 – The Spiritual Malady – Step 1
Spiritually, we have a difficult time connecting to a higher power. It is common to find yourself being angry at God or saying things like “if God was real this wouldn’t have happened to me” or not understanding why things are the way they are. Finally, someone explained to me that those things are not the insanity that the Big Book talks about; nor are those things why the alcoholic’s life becomes unmanageable. 10 minutes of Tips & Strategies to grow your mind and business. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. Four years of weekly big book meetings and I think I am finally getting it. I look at the past fleetingly sometimes to help others but I never stare at it too long.
Hence I believe we should appreciate that this definition of our condition has been updated by research into emotions especially in the last 20 years. My recovery has thus since been about “growing up” a bit, however unsuccessful I am in this pursuit on occasion. My inventory showed me also that I did not seem to have the facility previously to emotionally respond to the world in a mature way. It shows the areas of behaviour and attitudes that can be treated by working the steps. It shows us how our approach to life can possibly be transformed for the better. I have for several years wondered if the spiritual malady described in the Big Book adequate or accurate enough in describing what I suffer from. For example, false pride, intolerance, impatience, arrogance, shame, lust, gluttony, greed.
In Modern Terms, What is the “Spiritual Malady” of AA?
The original power greater than himself, as for millions of alcoholics over the last 80 years is another alcoholic. One recovering alcoholic or a group of recovering alcoholics is a power greater than oneself. I also have other ways of reacting in an emotionally unhealthy way that my step 4 showed. I got as far as deciding it was an inherent problem with processing negative emotions, which it is.
This is similar to relying on external means, i.e. alcohol, drugs, addictive behaviours to regulate our emotions and bolster our low self esteem. If we start by trying to recover from alcoholism and addiction and find we still have other issues then obviously address these with spiritual malady outside professional and specialist help. For example, one variable I believe is slightly different in alcoholism to other affective disorders is distress based impulsivity which leads to maladaptive decision making, it leads to always wanting more of that…that anything.
How Far Have We Come In Understanding this “Spiritual Malady” of Alcoholism?
When I am in fear and shame the same pattern of negative reactions entrap my heart in its’ poisonous grip and I react in a way I would not choose to, if more reasonable. I related and all my negative emotions retreated to source like a evening tide on a beach. I am not only fearful I have reacted to their arrival via shame based defence mechanisms and reactions. I am shamed and disgusted that my neighourhood has come to this. I am dismissive of them, intolerant, impatient and arrogant towards them.
- Some of us have this knawing feeling of not being good enough, have a hole in the soul which we are/were kinda always unconsciously trying to protect, shield from the world.
- Unlike other diseases, addiction contains a spiritual component referred to by 12 Step recovery fellowships as a “spiritual malady.” The spiritual component of the disease is of major importance, and requires spiritual treatment to be overcome.
- These secrets are the emotional and psychic scars of our alcoholic past and they need to be exposed in order for us to fully heal.
- He spent my whole life running from being an Indian now He spend a good part of my life seeking out the culture and his heritage.
- Bill Wilson had got this idea of abnormal, or allergic reaction to alcohol, from a physician, Dr Silkworth, who had treated him at Towns Hospital.
Negative emotions that cut me off from sanity and reason. They do not necessarily come from a Judea-Christian belief structure, just from my own awareness, 12 step practice and years of Neursocience research. The “spiritual malady” of the Oxford group seems enhanced in me, I believe I sin more than normal people because of my emotional immaturity and reactivity.
The Mind is also Abnormal
I contend that alcoholism is an emotional disorder which results in chemical dependency on the substance of alcohol. However in order to treat it we have to first contend with the symptomatic manifestation of this disorder, chronic alcohol use, as it is the most life threatening aspect of this disorder when we present our selves at AA.
- Our self will has become impaired and is no longer in the service of our successful survival.
- I cannot express how happy it has allowed my wife, family and friends to become.
- This is similar to relying on external means, i.e. alcohol, drugs, addictive behaviours to regulate our emotions and bolster our low self esteem.
- In steps 4 and 5 we listed wrongdoings to others and although initially petrified to share them with another, found that it wasn’t as difficult as we thought it would be, once you wrote down the worst top ten.
- Just as revealing where the negative emotions listed which clearly showed how I react, and can still react to people who I believe have caused my hurt or rejection.
There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience. The disease of alcohol and drug addiction is not just mental and physical but also spiritual. The spiritual malady, however, can be seen as an inward unmanageability. It affects every aspect of our lives and must be overcome if we wish to fix ourselves mentally and physically. The fundamental issue with a substance use disorder is that there are no predictable factors that make someone more prone to the disorder than another. In fact, studies have been done on twins to try to determine if there is a genetic predisposition for a substance use disorder, typically with mixed results.
The Spiritual Malady: Bane of the Alcoholic and Addict
This gospel message is not foundationally built on what steps we take to be reconciled to him but rather what steps he has taken to rescue us from sin. In love, Jesus entered our chaos, became like us to lead us out. As this gospel of grace captivates our hearts, we are reborn – given new hearts – which reorders our worship and redirects our lives.
I have a spiritual tool kit that deals with this emotional disease. Sometimes the shame persists for some time and I try to relieve it by behavioral addictions, too much shopping, too much eating, too much objectification of the opposite sex. These are all parts of my emotionally entangled web that is spun when I react to some sense of rejection. I grew up in a family that did not express emotions like the ones I had mentioned. We reacted via anger and put downs hence I have grown up to be dismissive. My past constantly assailed me emotionally, randomly attacking my mind.