Another topic for later that I would like to see is this Spiritually fit thing. Personally, I stay Spiritually fit, my behaviors may not always be something to write home about but I’m Spiritually plugged in constantly…many will throw daggers at my assertion and some just resort to simple minded name calling. One day, some of your insight would be helpful. Thanks
First of all, these are precisely the sorts of comments you will hear from those whose programs start and end with meetings. There are many who believe that the meeting keeps them sober, when in fact many of them are keeping themselves sober because many of them are not actually alcoholics as they have not lost the power of choice (willpower). And for those who are alcoholics, the daggers and name-calling are made by people who still suffer from the mental obsession. It is much easier to avoid doing the deep, tough work on self or limit our program to meetings when we don’t sincerely want to change. Why? Because faux recovery always preserves us an excuse or rationale for relapsing. Think about it. If we take rigorous action and stay spiritually fit, we don’t have much of an excuse to relapse. Plus actually changing and finding God will kill your buzz for life, if and when you ever relapse. Many of us do not want our buzz to be killed for life.
“Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.100
Perhaps the notion of drugs and alcohol losing their grip over us entirely or even coming to naturally repel them as poisons that only push us away from God is frightening to many untreated alcoholics and addicts, let alone non-alcoholics pretending to be alcoholics (don’t ask me why anyone would voluntarily want this designation, but trust me, it happens all the time. I can only liken pretending to be a powerless addict to kids aspiring to look like they’re incarcerated by wearing their pants so far below the ass they have to spread their legs and waddle to prevent indecent exposure – otherwise known as “prison fashion” or “thug fashion.”)
So these are comments you hear from those of us who don’t really want to change completely and aren’t willing to do much in the world to effect such change. Ask them if they are really willing to put down alcohol and drugs for the rest of their lives? Ask them if they are willing to change their entire purpose? Ask them if they are willing let go of some deep-seated ambition, an intimate relationship or their internet porn addiction (which blogger Matt Walsh properly likens to adultery)? Probably not.
Staying spiritually fit is a direct quote from the Big Book, and the last time I checked the Big Book was entitled, “Alcoholics Anonymous,” meaning ‘the program of’. Spiritual growth, health or “fitness” is a requirement for all alcoholics and addicts to maintain not just their sobriety, but their sanity. Thus, the process of becoming and staying “spiritually fit” IS the very program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thus, if the tools who mouth off were truly part of this program, they wouldn’t be mouthing off to you at all. Rather, they would be immersed in a process built on adopting and applying the principles of God – love, strength, honesty, humility, courage, patience, tolerance, gratitude, joy, etc.
Before the trolls attack me for this, let me assure them that I am by no means a perfect (far, far from it) or even good example of someone who consistently applies the principles of our Creator, but I know they need reassurance, so let me reassure them that, yes, I’m an asshole too.
That said, the ‘ol timer bullshit you hear is reflective of faux recovery, or superficial AA, which is tragically becoming commonplace today. This program consists largely of untreated and often bitter alcoholics who consider prestige based on time and meeting seniority… but is it not sort of embarrassing for alcoholics to place themselves on some pedestal of alcoholic recovery (though nonetheless typical of addicts to pat themselves on the back simply because they stopped doing something they never should have begun doing to begin with, let alone becoming a person who causes extreme discomfort in anyone who has to suffer our mere presence). The addict, drenched in sin, lies, deception, grandiosity and fear now has a feeling of superiority in his meeting? What are we, children? Why the need for recognition and trophies? How about just quietly doing the right thing?
Yay, we’re sober. I’m pretty sure that is at best a bittersweet accomplishment to our parents, spouses and children. In fact, they are most likely still horrified, living in fear, and justifiably resentful of all that we have done to them.
If anyone should be commended at all (which I certainly don’t recommend for any addict, recovered or not), it is the addict who isn’t just racking up sober time in vain to award themselves a 1-year chip and some claps, but the guy who recognizes the sheer depth of emotional rot within and then digs and claws with all he has within to rid himself of the endless character defects.
We addicts (along with narcissists, borderlines, power-addicts and many other types, even some of the more damaged codependents) engage in such things as pathological projection, blame, manipulation, dishonesty, emotional blackmail, emotional tyranny, verbal abuse, physical abuse, self-abuse, self-worship, self-indulgence, sexual misconduct, sloth, narcissism, pride and the list goes on. Along with the secular elites (who see everything through an ideological lens as opposed to the way things actually are, which, by the way, makes otherwise educated people seem either ignorant or just mentally ill) and many of the celebrities who worship darkness and promote vanity and sexual depravity and so forth (horrible role models for our children, by the way), are some of the most disturbed and destructive people in the world.
We also become self-seeking vampires, loud and obnoxious, believing our stories, our lives, our feelings and thoughts to be oh so important that even the clerk at Dunkin’ Donuts needs to suffer our ranting and raving about every injustice committed against us. We suck every ounce of energy possible out of whomever we can without even thinking about shutting up for a second and listening to someone else. We suck people dry and then move on to the next person. We are shameless.
Finally, some of the filth you hear from the socially inept types (who frequently get off on bashing God or Christ or the Big Book) are reflective of a different group of people. Many of these types are not alcoholics or addicts. They are rather social misfits. Court ordered after a DUI or referred to meetings by some colleague for being friendless and isolated, they grab onto it, recite the slogans, and chirp at newcomers with a built-in Holier than Thou megaphone. So I wouldn’t worry about the AA knuckleheads. Many of us simply project what we loathe about ourselves onto others. Sadly, that is the depth of their honesty and their connection to the Holy Spirit. Let us both just simply pray for us all to have and experience God in our lives.