by Rob S
Being a fully-recovered alcoholic means if I throw AA under the bus tomorrow morning, I could be “boiled as an owl” by midnight. This is because I am helpless and hopeless over drink, save for the grace of God and AA. You may think: “What an oxymoron! How can an alcoholic be hopeless and helpless, yet claim to be recovered?”
Well, one happy ingredient of my recovered status is that “if I should drink” has not occurred to me for many years. It seems to have been removed from my emotional vocabulary. But for a better detailed description, here are a few promises from pages 84 and 85 of the Big Book:
- We will seldom be interested in liquor.
- If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame.
- We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part.
- We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation.
- We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed (the mental obsession, not the physical allergy). It does not exist for us.
I could be “boiled as an owl” by midnight
Not so fast—there is a prerequisite. “That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” How? By living in the spirit of Steps 10, 11 and 12.
Non-Big Book readers might state: “If I were recovered, I’d start drinking again.” This is logical thinking using the normal definition of the word “recovered.” However, those who have studied the Big Book can easily see the folly in that sort of thinking because they understand the allergy/obsession syndrome. The Big Book uses the word “recovered” in a special and technical sense readers can easily understand. I often use the phrase “release from the mental obsession” at meetings to avoid controversy.