Saturday, April 22, 2006

Startled

I heard something startling at a meeting the other day. Now, this in itself is unusual. I've seen everything, heard everything, I know everything there is to know about alcoholism, AA and recovery. Because I'm an oldtimer. I've been in and around the rooms of AA for over 20... uh, months. So I know it all.

A speaker was riffing on Step One and the theme of powerlessness. He got sober at some inpatient program where they tried to provide a "toolkit" to the drunks so they could manage the urges and temptations to drink once they got out. He got out, went to AA, got a sponsor, and talked about the "toolkit" with his sponsor. His sponsor said, "Toolkit!?! There ain't no tools to stop drinking. You're powerless."

This pulled me up short. I have always thought in terms of the "tools" AA gives me, and from sharing I hear in meetings I'm not the only one.

[One thing I have learned is that if I hear something I disagree with, I ought to pay close attention.]

In a real sense, AA is an "anti-toolkit." I frequently walk in to a meeting with a head full of plans, schedules, agendas, expectations and other ridiculous fantasies about how I'm going to have better control of my life. I'll get a decent-paying job so I'm not going backwards financially, I'll be able to afford to move out of sober living, get divorced, get 50% custody of my son, ask that chick at the Thursday night meeting out on a date (you should see the, uh, RECOVERY this girl has, I mean she is soooo, uh, SOBER!), buy a condo, then buy investment properties, get rich, etc., etc., and never have another problem in my life. I got it all figured out. I just need a few more tools and then I'll control my destiny.

In the course of the meeting, or reading the Big Book or 12X12 or As Bill Sees It, I'll be reminded again that I'm not in charge, that God is in charge.
"Okay, Phil, put down the monkey-wrench."
"But, but, it took me so long to craft this monkey-wrench, just let me throw it into the works -- I have it all planned!"
"Put down the monkey-wrench and put your hands in the air. Palms up."
So, yes, we have a lot of "tools" in AA. We bring them to meetings with us, and throw them away with the cigarette butts and coffee cups.

The processes and activities we practice in AA are designed not so much to put tools in our hands, but to make us empty-handed -- so our hands are not cluttered with monkey-wrenches, not balled into fists, not under our behinds with our thumbs you-know-where. We can't build our sobriety, we can't fight for it, we can't earn it, we can't do anything to own sobriety. We hold out our empty hands and accept it, on a daily basis, as a gift from our Higher Power. (Next time you reach out to a newcomer, take a look at your hand.) We "practice these principles" not to build tools for living, but to strengthen our willingness to accept the free gift of life.

I sure don't own my sobriety. The "spiritual awakening" is not something I did once and now have with no further ado. At least a dozen times a day I have to shake myself awake once more, remind myself simply to accept God's will, that my part is to conform myself as best as I can to God's will even if I don't have a clue, and then to stop worrying.



28 Comments:

At 4/22/2006 05:12:00 PM, Blogger Venzmama said...

Good timing, I needed this post. And welcome back.

 
At 4/22/2006 08:15:00 PM, Blogger Grateful said...

Hi Phil, Wonderful post! Things like this happen to me a lot in recovery. I'll learn to 'spew' what I hear others say, believe it to be the gospel and then someone else stomps all over it and makes me think "Damn, why didn't I think of that"?

Now ya' got me started thinking but thankfully I just prayed "God, please be my Toolbox".

~~~~~~~~~~

Wonderful to see you again!

 
At 4/23/2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger K said...

Hey, nice to see you back.

 
At 4/23/2006 01:51:00 AM, Blogger lash505 said...

You have you been? good to see you post my man.

 
At 4/23/2006 03:59:00 AM, Blogger NMAMFQLMSH said...

He speaks....I listen.
I'll use any tool I can get.
I've missed you.
and
I see you,
JJ

 
At 4/23/2006 02:10:00 PM, Blogger scott w said...

Nice to hear from you.

 
At 4/23/2006 04:37:00 PM, Blogger Trudging said...

You are back! Now this is a red letter day.

 
At 4/23/2006 05:23:00 PM, Blogger Mary Christine said...

Wow Phil. I totally agree. I think God gives us "tools" just like we give babies a rattle or a pacifier - to shut them up and keep them busy while we take care of them.

 
At 4/23/2006 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

PHIL!!!! so glad to see err hear errr read you!
sounds interting down in SOCal...

sounds like this meeting was an interesting one... keep us posted...

 
At 4/24/2006 06:12:00 PM, Blogger dAAve said...

I'll just leave it at ..
GOOD TO SEE YA!!

 
At 4/25/2006 02:43:00 PM, Blogger Sober Chick said...

So glad to see that you are still trudging. My spnsor told me (after I obsessed over something she told me) not to pay so much attention to what others say.

It's all about perception, everyone holds a different take.

Thanks 4 your post.

 
At 4/25/2006 06:30:00 PM, Anonymous Mark W. said...

Hi Folks,

I've just started writing at A Dozen Steps and I've begun to see many of you "around." I hope we can get to know each other.

As for tools, toolkits - page 95 of the BB.

"Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection."

Someone will, hopefully, fetch up that sponsor and remind him it isn't "Alcoholics Anonymous" according to him. There certainly are tools and much needed tools at that.

A Sober, Clean Day To All,

Mark W.

 
At 4/29/2006 06:42:00 AM, Blogger Blue said...

Beautiful, just beautiful... thanks

 
At 4/30/2006 08:19:00 AM, Blogger Geo said...

Coming onto 30 years of continuous attendance at AA meetings but can only claim 20 years sobriety because of one slip of one glass of wine at nine and a half years to show that damn woman what happens when she brings booze into MY DAMN HOUSE! Now there's no booze in my house nor her, but even that's okay because that divorce, number three, was the one that got me to get outside help on my woman issue, and now happily married and knowing I'm a good husand, things are pretty good for this alocoholic.

Just now leaving to go to a new meeting some of us in Spokane have formed: Agnostics and Atheists in Recovery.
Have a laugh.

 
At 5/02/2006 02:45:00 PM, Blogger doughgirl said...

Wow did I show up just in time...Thanks Phil great job posting this one

April

 
At 5/21/2006 05:43:00 PM, Blogger tkdjunkie said...

Thank you for the awesome post! I'm new in the program (just 45 days sober), and I think too much. I want to use my own tools! So thanks for this post :)

 
At 5/25/2006 03:09:00 PM, Blogger Raven Moon said...

Wow, Phil. I really love that you are sharing your experience, strength and hope here. While I'm like any other alcoholic who thinks too much, sometimes I enjoy intellectualizing "the process" and I don't think that is bad though some people don't want to do that with me. Friends in the program sometimes think that I'm driving myself nuts with all the thinking. I think it's interesting, frankly. And I feel relieved when I can write/talk about it. So I appreciate your musings about how the program is working in your life.

 
At 6/01/2006 06:12:00 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

just miss ya PHIL coming over to say hi

HI

 
At 6/03/2006 02:47:00 PM, Anonymous gmknowles said...

This is not as much about this post as about your blog.

I am amazed that you have documented your attempts and failures of recovery so extensively.

With 23 years sobriety, I don't get amazed any to often.

I have added your blog to my links at my blog, if that is ok? It is under the link category Recovery Blogs.

I have done this for two reasons. The first is as mentioned above. Further, my first 1 1/2 of attempts verifies many of the feelings you have gone through, and this message is as important as many others to those attempting to be happily sober.

Secondly, I enjoy your writing style. That, unfortunately does not mean it is good, since I am no expert at this. It is a subjective test.

I hope you retain your sobriety and continue to grow in the spirit. And, that you continue to carry your message in the blogoshpere.

All the best,

Gary

 
At 6/20/2006 09:43:00 AM, Blogger doughgirl said...

Phil

I have missede reading your blog. Hope all is well and come back soon.:)

April

 
At 7/21/2006 07:39:00 AM, Blogger Designer Girl said...

Hey, Phil. For some reason, I didn't discover your blog until about a week ago. Your posts are SO honest and real. Reading your first posts especially has really been instrumental in helping me to find the courage to go back in.

Please keep posting when you get the chance!

 
At 7/27/2006 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Old Lush said...

Will you shake me awake, while you're at it...or perhaps, hit me on the head a couple times with a hammer from your "toolkit". I need it!

New to your blog..like it!

Jen

 
At 8/02/2006 06:48:00 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

Hey Phil
just miss you and thought I would say hello...
HELLO !

 
At 8/26/2006 02:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Alcoholics anonymous is NOT christian...its a CULT.

There is an increasing number of churches embracing this cult with the belief that it has christian roots-its roots are deeply embeded in the occult. I dont know how many people I have heard say,they have stoped drinking and that all that matters...is it really.?? If someone involved in the occult stopped drinking as a result of their paganism....does that make it okay.NO. The truth of the matter is AA doctrines do not line up with scripture. AA encourages the follower to be completely self absorbed,only giving of themselves when recruting new members. In the big book,the section devoted to the wives...which was a joke unto itself .I shook my head in disbelief at the caca being shoveled.The alcoholic is told that they may have to go so far as to sacrifice their own family to follow AA doctrine. Family members are encouraged to join ALANON if they refuse they are treated as outsiders who are not supporting the alcoholic and his life long recovery,which again is not biblical.AA is not family friendly if you too do not join the cult. After all the family of an alcoholic must also be sick and diseased as well.GAG!For a christian to attend AA it is spiritual compromise at its finest.When one filters through the God bashing on the"orange papers" site one has an awakening alright,its like shining a light on cockroaches.You see AA for the cult it is.

AA ~ The Broad Road of AA
"To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive, or forbidding...." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46.

Bible ~ The Narrow Road of Christ
"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt 7:13-14).

AA ~ Contempt for Sound Doctrine
"Any number of alcoholics are bedeviled by the dire conviction that if they ever go near AA, they will be pressured to conform to some brand of faith or theology." As Bill Sees It, p. 201.So alcoholics are encouraged to pick a deity of their choice.

Bible ~ Sound Doctrine
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…" (2 Tim 4:3-4).
AA ~ "God-as-you-understand-Him": Any Name "We suggest that you find a substitute for this destructive power, alcohol, and turn to a Higher Power, regardless of the name by which you may identify that power. We suggest that you turn your will and your life over to God, as you understand Him."

Bible ~ Jesus Christ: No Other Name
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

AA ~ Powerlessness
"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable" (Step 1).

Bible ~ Power in Christ
No believer can claim to be powerless: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philip 4:13).

AA ~ Spiritual Awakening
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps…" (Step 12).

Bible ~ Spiritually Dead in Sin
Man is spiritually dead, not asleep. He needs resurrection, not awakening. "Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us [made us alive] together with Christ" (Eph 2:5).

AA ~ The "Big Book": AA’s "Bible"
Portions of the "Big Book," Alcoholics Anonymous, are read "religiously" at every AA meeting, much like Scripture readings at Christian worship services.

Bible ~ Sufficient for Life & Godliness
"His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3).

AA ~ Leadership: "Trusted Servants"
"Our leaders are but trusted servants. They do not govern" (Tradition 2).
Bible ~ Leadership: Elders
AA’s leaders and individual sponsors usurp the role God has ordained for church elders to shepherd and "feed the flock of God which is among you" (1 Peter 5:2).

AA ~ The "Moral Inventory"
Step 4 requires a "searching and fearless moral inventory," essentially a detailed catalogue of past sins to be "confessed" to some other person to whom such confession is not biblically due.

Jesus Christ, is the Only Mediator, High Priest & Head of the Church. The interjection of anyone else between God & man has no biblical basis; and, it implies that Jesus is not fully capable of being the mediator, high priest, & head of His church.
Hebrews 4: 12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.Funny there is no mention of giving account to a sponsor.

Bible ~ No Condemnation
As Christians, our sins are fully covered by the blood of Christ. We confess our sins, as appropriate, to God and to those actually sinned against. New believers are nowhere in Scripture required to make a detailed list of all past sins. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:1)
.
AA ~ "Birthdays"
AA members celebrate annual "birthdays" based on the date of their last drink. They practice a "secular regeneration."

Bible ~ Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
Christians celebrate their new birth in Christ.

AA ~ The Goal: Sobriety
The goal of AA is abstinence from alcoholic beverages (sobriety). Other sins, such as sexual immorality, are commonly tolerated so long as the AA member isn’t drinking.

Bible ~ The Goal: Sanctification
"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son" (Rom 8:29).

AA ~ Fellowship/Unity: A Common Sin

AA’s fellowship is built around the common sin of drunkenness. "Personal recovery depends upon AA unity" (Tradition 1).

Bible ~ Fellowship/Unity: A Common Salvation "There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph 4:4-6).

AA ~ Carrying "the Message"
"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs" (Step 12).

Bible ~ Christian Evangelism
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt 28:19-20).

AA ~ Incurable Disease

AA’s literature is permeated with the dogma, taught faithfully to newcomers, that "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." There is no "cure" offered, only continual abstinence from all alcoholic beverages.
This is not the character of God.Gods plan for everyone is to be made whole.

Forgiven Sin
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor 6:9-11).

John 8: 12When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. Not obligated to spending the rest of your natural life attending meetings.Are you delivered or arent you.

Psalms 103:THE REAL 12 STEPS.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Many pastors and Christian leaders have bought into the idea that these originated from a Christian foundation. That shows how broad the term Christian has become­-so broad as to include any deity "as you understand" him, her, or it and so wide as to include the occult, as well as the mentality of psychotherapeutic theories. In other words, most twelve-step programs are mixtures, rather than the pure doctrine and practice of Scripture.

 
At 8/26/2006 03:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALCOHOLISM IS NOT A DISEASE

There has been much literature and talk about a theory that proposes the possibility of a genetic predisposition to becoming an alcoholic. Several studies seem to indicate that the offspring of alcoholics tend to become alcoholics. There does seem to be an association prima facie[1], but no tangible proof has been found for an “alcoholism gene” – something in the DNA, which predisposes a person to becoming an alcoholic. Being a logical and rational person the idea itself to me is preposterous in the extreme.
First of all, Darwin's Theory, or the “Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection”[2], has never been proven[3]. The underlying premise – natural selection, does seem to make sense to the ill- informed. “Selection” supposedly favors those individuals whose physical or behavioral traits make them highest in the pecking order for mating, and thereby they pass along their genes. Alcohol certainly breaks down inhibitions, and under that premise alone, could any mating “superiority” be claimed; it would be difficult if not impossible to prove.
Other than the fact that alcohol tends to remove the natural inhibitions to have “casual sex'', there is no data that could possibly be collected that would conclusively prove that alcoholism is a genetically-inherited disease. There is simply no means by which such a study could be controlled. The DNA of everyone who is an alcoholic would have to be compared to the DNA of a significant number (equal to the number in the “alcoholics” group) of people who are not alcoholics to see if a particular genetic coding is common in alcoholics. Peradventure[4] a “common” DNA sequence is found, we may be looking at common DNA damage caused by alcohol abuse.
In order to claim that a certain gene “codes for alcoholism”, we would have to read DNA code, and know what each base-pair sequence means. Sorry, only the DESIGNER[5] has the “source code”, and He ain't giving it up. Save yourselves the trouble, boys! Look for those government research grants elsewhere. Alcoholism genes in DNA? - I don't think so!
Picking up a drink is a BEHAVIOR that usually starts in a social setting, or under peer pressure. Alcohol is highly addictive; it slowly, after prolonged use, it becomes part of the body's “chemistry”, as does nicotine. That is an empirical fact that's been clinically proven. “Hangovers” are withdrawal symptoms, and there is such a thing as “drinking yourself sober”... you sure as hell won't pass a Breathalyzer™ test, though. If you've reached that point, you most definitely have a very serious problem. Alcohol addiction is just as serious as addiction to any other drug. Sudden withdrawal from a serious drinking habit can kill you as suddenly as a .357 magnum discharged into the brainpan[6].
After the physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal subside, the craving for a drink is simply comfort-seeking behavior. It is driven engramically[7]. The solution to the craving is not “will-power”; you will lose that battle, trust me!
Alcohol is part of the coping mechanism by which one deals with underlying trauma, stress, guilt, or other unresolved spiritual issues. I should know; I used marihuana to deal with stress, loneliness, fear, and a litany of other emotions when I was in Vietnam. Pot was a substitute for coping skills - and being “high” kept the pain away. It didn't solve the problems, but it kept me from hurting inside.
Thank God, that by the grace of God, I haven't touched the stuff in over 33 years, neither do I ever even think about lighting up. Pot is no different from alcohol in that regard. Don't let anyone tell you that you can’t just walk away from a drug addiction; if they do, they're lying to you, or they simply don't know any better.
It is possible that a common factor may be found for alcoholism, but I doubt very seriously that a genetically coded predilection to consume alcohol will ever be found. If a DNA sequence common to alcoholics is found, there should also exist a similar genetic anomaly for drugs, or otherwise one must logically ask the question, “What makes alcohol so special?” If any DNA link is found, it is more likely that DNA damage is done by the consumption of alcohol, but the consumption is a learned behavior that is inherited by example. The “common gene” one is likely to find in these cases, is not a gene that creates the propensity to drink, but the gene that is most likely to be damaged by the drinking.
Further arguments could be made against the theory that alcoholism is genetically inherited, by simply examining the (postulated) process of “natural selection”, and viewing it in context with the notion that selection is based on “survival of the fittest”, and on traits which enable the individual to survive better than his peers. There are points pro and con that one could make here, but the argument is moot until some solid (physical, empirical) evidence comes to the fore.
I believe that classifying alcoholism, or any other form of drug addiction as a “disease”, is a mistake on several counts. I believe that the connotation the word “disease” carries, removes the focus from the real issue. Alcoholism or drug addiction is most certainly not a disease one can contract by breathing germs, sitting on a filthy toilet seat, or being born of the wrong parents[8]. These addictions are AcQuired Disabilities (AQDs), or AcQuired Dysfunctions. If there were no alcohol or drugs available, one could then, not acquire the disease. This leaves the question about where this “disease” originates.
Does alcoholism originate in a DNA sequence that causes one to seek alcohol as part of a need to satisfy peculiar body chemistry? Does a (supposed) genetic predisposition to alcohol mean that a person with this (yet undiscovered) trait has a flaw in his/her body chemistry that causes addiction upon use, whereas someone without this flaw in their genetic makeup would not become addicted as readily, or is immune to addiction? Is the disease the alcohol itself, or is the disease really a symptom of some other dysfunction? I tend to favor the latter, and the reason I do, comes from simple logic.
I have attended AA meetings and substance abuse classes, and I have not abused drugs or alcohol since 1971. Please don't get the wrong message here – it is not because of the classes that I stopped using marihuana and Thai Stick. I stopped by the grace of God, over 20 years before I went to any classes; and the only reason I went to the AA and NA meetings was to support a friend who asked me to accompany him (the free coffee and donuts weren't bad, either).
I never was an alcoholic, and drinking a beer today would make me physically ill for a week. I couldn't finish one unless it was very cold, I was very thirsty, and there was nothing else to drink.
If one believes he has a disease, and that disease has no cure, then that person is doomed to a life of recovery. He is told outright, that his addiction cannot be cured, and the rest of his life must be spent in a conscious effort every waking moment, to resist the craving and the temptation to pick up that drink, or crack stem. This strategy has a high success rate, because it keeps them from using, and that's fine, I suppose. So is the concept of support groups, rap sessions, and “buddy interventions” when things get out-of-hand.
The people who do well in AA, NA, et.al, are those that develop coping skills that directly deals with and addresses the issues that cause the comfort-seeking behavior. The chemicals that are part of the old comfort-seeking behavior are merely the means to an end that cannot be accomplished with substance abuse.
The intoxicating chemicals induce in the person the apparency of a solution, much like a shot of morphine will kill the pain of a bullet wound; and you might believe that ''I ain't shot”, or the Monty Python[9]-ish “It’s nuthin’ but a flesh wound!”[10], but in reality, you're bleeding to death.
Simply speaking, and in summation, alcoholism, drug addiction, or any substance abuse that alters consciousness, is not a disease; it is an addiction that is driven initially by the desire to escape from, or mitigate the emotional pain of some unresolved conflict, stress, or problem, and then continued by the fact that the substances are both physically and psychologically addictive.
Alcohol is legal to buy, and drugs (legal or otherwise) are easy to come by. Availability is not a problem. In order to be “cured”, you must not think of yourself as having “an incurable disease”. If you allow yourself to believe it, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the disease is incurable, then you are doomed to living the rest of your life in recovery. You’ll spend a good portion of that life attending AA/NA meetings where you are constantly reminded that you are powerless over a bottle of fermented grape squeezings. If you believe that you are powerless. Then you are doomed to psychological cravings that are in part, induced by your belief that you'll always have them. People have “believed” themselves to death, you know, and people have believed themselves to a state of wellness.
In order to walk away with complete confidence, you must deal with whatever demons pushed you to seek comfort in a bottle, or in a crack stem, at the end of a needle, or whatever you're using to “self-medicate”. Slay those dragons, and there will no longer be a need to feel helpless, or doomed to spending the rest of your life “in recovery” because of your misguided beliefs. You can’t fight that battle alone, and all the “friends” in the world can’t help you. My good friend Tom used to say, “God’s gotta’ be ‘in there’, somewhere.”
Labeling alcoholics or drug addicts as “diseased”, I believe is wrong. There is absolutely no empirical scientific evidence to support it, and it takes the focus off the actual problem that is never dealt with. It is a philosophy from the pit of hell, driven by the practice of psychology and validated by what Paul described in his letter to Timothy as: “profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called..” - 1 Timothy 6:20b KJV
Resisting the temptation to fall into the old “comfort-seeking” behaviors may be efficable to keep someone from taking another drink or “hit” for years, even decades. Nevertheless, the person operating under the premise that his life is controlled by a disease that is incurable, can never fully extricate himself from the belief that he will always crave a drink, and will never get to the core issues that drive the cravings. I believe that believing that alcoholism is an inherited disease, or even a disease one can “acquire”, is a defeatist attitude that becomes a perpetual, self-fulfilling prophesy.
One thing that the “alcoholism is a disease” philosophy does, is that it allows the “treatment” of the malady by doctors and psychologists to be payable by most health insurance plans - and that, I believe, is the real reason and the real motivation behind why “The Merchants of Chaos” want you to believe it. Somebody is making a lot of money from your misery – but that's nothing new under the sun, now is it?
Godspeed and God bless,

 
At 9/05/2006 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Phil said...

Anonymous: Keep coming back, son, keep coming back...

Everyone else: You're the best! :)

 
At 9/06/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger Designer Girl said...

Wow, Phil. You've got a TON more grace and patience than I have. I would have just deleted Anonymous's comments.

Anonymous: At least have the courage to identify yourself if you're going to leave these types of comments. Your approach is cowardly and narrow-minded, and you should get your own damn blog. (And I'm a Christian, but man, you piss me off!!!)

 
At 11/26/2006 09:25:00 AM, Blogger twodogsblogging said...

Wait, I've lost the thread? Who in AA is making a lot of money off the disease? We have no affiliation with any treatment centers. They may or may not be making a lot of money. One community treatment day center here just closed for lack of funding, the only game within 50 miles. Jeez, get some facts.

 

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