“Then they outlined the spiritual answer and program of action which a hundred of them had followed successfully. Though I had been only a nominal churchman, their proposals were not, intellectually, hard to swallow. But the program of action, though entirely sensible, was pretty drastic. It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window. That was not easy. But the moment I made up my mind to go through with the process, I had the curious feeling that my alcoholic condition was relieved, as in fact it proved to be.
“Quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all my problems. I have since been brought into a way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before. My old manner of life was by no means a bad one, but I would not exchange its best moments for the worst I have now. I would not go back to it even if I could.”
Fred’s story speaks for itself. We hope it strikes home to thousands like him. He had felt only the first nip of the wringer. Most alcoholics have to be pretty badly mangled before they really commence to solve their problems.
Many doctors and psychiatrists agree with our conclusions. One of these men, staff member of a world-renowned hospital, recently made this statement to some of us: “What you say about the general hopelessness of the average alcoholic’s plight is, in my opinion, correct. As to two of you men, whose stories I have heard, there is no doubt in my mind that you were 100% hopeless, apart from divine help. Had you offered yourselves as patients at this hospital, I would not have taken you, if I had been able to avoid it. People like you are too heartbreaking. Though not a religious person, I have profound respect for the spiritual approach in such cases as yours. For most cases, there is virtually no other solution.”
Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power.
Obviously there are lots of meanings one could cull from these words but what stood out to me after a few shares was the need to surround myself with people that have what I want/need. I do it in many aspects of my life. I want to be a better runner so I run with people that are better than I am. I want to improve my nursing skills, I surround myself with Nurses who have experiences and abilities I do not.
To quote Cervantes: “For we are all as God made us, and often times a great deal worse.”
‘I want to stop being a shitty, base human being so I follow and allow God/Higher Power/Spirituality into my life. Am I going to get to be as good as God? Of course not. I am not and never will be perfection but I can make progress, I can better myself by being and doing better and by surrounding myself with those who are also being and doing better.
I’ve made a lot of shitty choices in my life. Choices that hurt people. Devastated families, mine most of all. I don’t have to be trapped by those decisions. I get to make new ones. That is incredibly exciting and liberating and humbling.
That is why I keep coming back to meetings. I will always have something more to learn from God through others who have the unfortunate experience of knowing what it is like to have said and done things like I have said and done.