As Bill Sees It:
“58 Righteous Indignation
“The positive value of righteous indignation is theoretical — especially for alcoholics. It leaves every one of us open to the rationalization that we may be as angry as we like provided we claim to be righteous about it.
“When we harbored grudged and planned revenge for defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others. We learned that if we were seriously disturbed, our very first need was to quiet that disturbance, regardless of who or what we thought caused it.”
1. Letter, 1954
2. Twelve and Twelve, pp.48-49
I picked this reading because, as much as I’d love to have picked a ‘happy joyous and free’ theme, I’m afraid I’ve come across some ugly self-rationalization and self-justification going on lately. Throw in some ‘justifiable anger,’ and you got a whole explosive dangerous emotional cocktail.
I did a mini step 4 (or more like a much needed step 10 but using the step 4 columns from the Big Book) and then shared it with another sober lady. And there it was: indignation (how dare they), distrust, control, manipulation, neediness and my old-time favorite, bearing grudges… sigh [ugly I know…].
Anyway, I could see I was setting myself towards another dry drunk bender or scary enough, a drink. I realized the only way forward is to pray and forgive. That’s when I said to the other lady: “I don’t know what to do … but I do need to be quiet right now.”
When I am disturbed, I can’t see the wood from the trees. I need that quieting. Just maybe a moment of still within. And I know then I’ll be able to see the light in the forest. Or at least have hope there’s a way out.
How do you find the quiet or the serenity, or whatever you like to call it, within the storm? How do you deal with indignation (righteous or not!)? What do you do to find the stillness?
Please feel free to share on this or anything else relating to recovery from alcoholism.