“Whether a person can quit upon a non-spiritual basis depends upon the extent to which he has already lost the power to choose whether he will drink or not.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.34
Translation: If you are too far gone, chances are that you cannot recover without the help of God.
The Big Book also says, “Though there is no way of proving it, we believe that early in our drinking careers most of us could have stopped drinking. But the difficulty is that few alcoholics have enough desire to stop while there is yet time.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.32
Translation: Before you mutated yourself into a chronic, hopeless drunk, you may have been able to quit without spiritual help. You may have been able to still recover on your own power and self-will… but maybe not, hahaha.
The Big Book spends the first 43 pages just trying to drill a 1st Step into our heads. There is no moving forward until we know with every cell in our body that we are powerless over drugs and alcohol. We must know that despite all of our brains and talents and skills and other faculties, we cannot fix ourselves. We are not capable of recovering on our own because we have lost the power to do so. We are not capable of recovering without spiritual help. In order for the true alcoholic or drug addict to get better, he must smash the notion that he can get himself better.
Once we let go and realize that alone we are not powerful enough, then real growth and recovery is possible. Then we can get underneath something and accept that we may need a much greater power to fix us. We have tried for years on our own and we have failed miserably. Only a miracle will fundamentally rewire our brains and restore our hearts and spirits. Isn’t it time to let go of our arrogance? Isn’t time to stop holding onto our pride and ego?
And even if you could recover on your own, isn’t it better to think this way? Isn’t it better to live with some humility? Giving ourselves too much credit for getting better will lead the addict right back to his warped thinking. He will think,
Gee, look at me. I’m the man! I got myself all better. Hmmm, maybe I can control my addiction this time since I’m so talented and amazing and powerful…
God, teach me that alone I am useless…