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God Leaves the Door Open for Everyone
April 27, 2021
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Anonymity Is the Spiritual Foundation
June 2, 2021
recoil from hot flame

What does that mean?

I am a fully recovered alcoholic. This means that, if I throw God and 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 the thought, “If I should drink…” has not occurred to me for many years—it seems to have been removed from my emotional vocabulary.

For a better, detailed description, here are a few promises from pages 84 & 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 (This means the mental obsession—not the physical allergy). It does not exist for us.

Not so fast. There is a prerequisite! “That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” How do we do that? By living in the spirit of Steps 10, 11 and 12.

Readers unfamiliar with the Big Book 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 recovered word in a special and technical sense that readers can easily understand.

I often use the phrase “release from the mental obsession” at meetings to avoid controversy.

By Bob S.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.