Half measures availed us nothing…
The Big Book says that if we have decided we want peace and freedom then we must be “willing to go to any lengths” to get it.
It also says, “We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.58
Why do half measures yield zero results? Because our solution must be more powerful than our addiction, which has grown very powerful over the years. If we have been a one-man wrecking ball for years and years, then group therapy, some role play, and a few anti-depressants aren’t gonna cut it. Also, God knows that we have been half-assing life yet fully expecting top notch results. Why would we get off so easily for a lifetime of recovery? Isn’t it better for addicts to do some hard work on themselves for a payoff that we really don’t deserve to begin with?
We must be willing to go to any lengths because this requires us to fully commit to spiritual growth. If we are willing to do anything it takes to get better, then we have undergone a fundamental change within. We have let go of our old ways. In fact, we may have to shed our entire identity or life’s purpose. This is the requirement to undergo an “entire psychic change”, where alcohol and drugs are no longer a problem for us.
The psychic change is also responsible for changing the way we think and the way we conduct ourselves. No longer will we live and breathe through a self-centered frame of reference. To undo a lifetime of selfishness, we must be at least willing to do anything it takes.
By the way, that famous Big Book line ‘half measures availed us nothing’ was taken from the text of an old relative of mine: Richard Peabody’s The Common Sense of Drinking
God, remind me everyday that half measures yield half results, or no result whatsoever…
“We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p.58
Easier, softer ways are abundant these days, especially now that AA has split into two different programs, the softer one being that of unrecovered speakers telling war stories and sob stories while everyone else munches on cookies and sucks down coffee after running up to get awarded with sobriety chips to celebrate 30 days or 90 days or a whole year of sobriety (even though recovery isn’t a function of time spent sober, plus nobody should be rewarded just because they stopped hurting people).
The original or real AA had nothing to do with meetings and Oreos, but was a rigorous program of spiritual action meant to open us up to God so His power might free us from our mental obsession to drink and use drugs, as well as give us the power to live and do that which we could not do for ourselves. AA was nothing more than the Twelve Steps, once upon a time. And meetings originally sprang up so that recovered individuals could tell those still suffering HOW to get better. Meetings were meant to offer the solution, not to simply discuss the problem.
Should we really bring our problems to AA meetings where newcomers on the verge of suicide are desperately seeking a real solution?
Other easier, softer ways include psychotherapy, group therapy, role play, trigger maintenance, meetings, anti-depressants, Naltrexone, Methadone, Suboxone, and you name it. Or how about moving away, moving back, getting into a relationship, getting out of a relationship, having a baby, or trying to avoid people, places and things that make us want to drink or use? Or how about Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Shamans, herbal extracts, homeopathy, acupuncture, yoga, or a laundry list of self-help books?
The problem is that if you want to half-ass your recovery, there are thousands of half-ass measures and half-ass treatment centers just waiting to take your money. To any parents or loved ones who can’t fathom spending any more money on cushy treatment centers where they serve tenderloin and massage therapy just so their an addicted child can come home to relapse, wallow, and still remain the selfish idiot they were before: Taking steps is free.
God, give me the strength, power and willingness to walk right into my fear and discomfort, that I may grow spiritually and grow closer to You…