November 28: Going on to the Bitter End vs Accepting Spiritual Help

Topic for the week: Going on to the Bitter End vs. Accepting Spiritual Help

 “There is a solution. Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it. When, therefore, we were approached by those in whom the problem had been solved, there was nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet. We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed. 

The great fact is just this, and nothing less: That we have had deep and effective spiritual experiences which have revolutionized our whole attitude toward life, toward our fellows and toward God’s universe. The central fact of our lives today is the absolute certainty that our Creator has entered into our hearts and lives in a way which is indeed miraculous. He has commenced to accomplish those things for us which we could never do by ourselves. 

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort.”

The “Big Book”: Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, 

“There is a Solution” pages 25-26

My name is Emily and I’m an alcoholic sober by the grace of God and the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, one day at a time, since September 1, 2010.

Prior to that day, I was choosing “to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of [my] intolerable situation as best [I] could.”

I definitely hated myself and my everyday life, that’s reason number 1 I told myself I had to alter my brain chemistry with alcohol and other substances as often as possible. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror, my family had lost faith in me long ago, my friends were avoiding me more and more, my employment situation was shaky at best, my son showed me more and more signs everyday that my behavior was hurting him… but still I continued seeking relief in the bottle, the powders, the plants, the pills.

There came a point in my life where I’d started seeing my across the street neighbor. After we had been seeing each other a few months he decided to go sober on me. We spent most of our time together and I really liked him so I sort of went along with this. But when left to my own devices, I always went back to what I called “partying”, drinking and whatever else came with it.

Eventually I had a night out that scared me enough to truly want a life without alcohol and drugs. The morning after, sobbing my eyes out in the shower I asked God for help in putting it down with all the sincerity in my heart. I haven’t had to take a drink or drug since.

And that was a good beginning on opening the window as far as spiritual help went. As far as alcohol and drugs were concerned, September 1, 2010 is the day I accepted spiritual help. But that was it, that was the only help from God I acknowledged I needed.

I went on for about 8 years with do it myself recovery, my ego just becoming more and more fierce everyday that passes. Eventually I’m so stark raving sober, so emotionally wasted, I become willing to accept spiritual help on a much greater level.

At this point, in the fall of 2018, I joined GROW and another email AA Group, I get a sponsor, I work the steps, I am finally teachable and willing to go to any lengths to achieve sobriety. The ninth step promises begin to come true and Today I can tell you even my worst day is 100% better than my life before these 12 steps and this way of life.

I’m curious, what has your journey been? How have you crossed the river from going on to the bitter end to accepting spiritual help? What has that done for your life not just in terms of physical sobriety but in overall quality of life?