A decade of therapy also showed Bill Wilson he has two default settings in his relationship to other human beings – he either tried to dominate them or he became dependent on them for his sense of self and emotional well being. In other words, he became dependent on others, on external means for approval and elevating his self esteem. Our spiritual malady causes us to be restless, irritable, and discontented. It is emotionally healthy to be altruistic – to help others without question or expectation. “The principles of the programme of Alcoholics Anonymous are scientific and closely follow all the helping therapies which lead people to emotional well-being. I end, however, with some words from a doctor who seems to be suggesting that AA works because it makes us more emotionally healthy. It is the always wanting one more that makes my affective disorder that of addiction and not another disorder.
The newcomer gave me an example of a resentment he was experiencing after this guy at a meeting said “get off your pink cloud” a phrase that refers to the sometimes mildly ecstatic feelings of early recovery. This is how a mental health disorder manifests itself as distorted fear based thinking which appear, if acted upon, to make one’s situation a whole lot worse. It is a strange feeling of not wanting to be found Sober Home out of being less than, not good enough. “If people realise what the real me is like, they will reject me! ” type thinking although a lot of this is unconscious and does not pop in to our minds as thoughts but is an unconscious self schema that shapes our behaviours. This is similar to relying on external means, i.e. alcohol, drugs, addictive behaviours to regulate our emotions and bolster our low self esteem.
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I mean, I bet most of us, if not all of us, just thought that ‘drinking’ was the root of our problems, and if we could manage to stop drinking then we’d be this ‘person’ we thought we were capable of being. I really didn’t know and wouldn’t have believed that my drinking was only a symptom of a deeper rooted problem. “When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.” Many people who are in need of recovery resist it knowing that the solution is spiritual. The desire to avoid connection with the spiritual aspects of the self are embedded in the nature of addiction. The avoidance of spirituality keeps the addict in addiction long after the desire to return to whole and healthy living is sparked. It is in this essence of anticipation of the future, and what it is imagined to hold, that stops so many from living the purpose they were born to live. This sin disease had very real psychological, emotional and physical and physiological effect on the mind and body. Sins were a contagion that mixed with the sins of others and the sins of families, groups, societies, cultures and countries. In fact they were all interlinking in a pattern of emotional reacting, one activating the other.
The struggle for anyone with a substance use disorder is that the focus, outside of treatment and 12-Step meetings, is typically on the substance. What we learn in recovery is that the problem centers in the mind. There is an obsessive quality and an emotional sensitivity, often experienced in childhood, what is a spiritual malady that later has the possibility of turning to an obsession to seek solace from the way they feel. Lacking the tools to manage pain, disappointment, and resentment in a healthy way, the mind obsessively seeks the only solution to the problem that has yet worked, which is a mind or mood-altering substance.
What I am saying is that they do not have the emotion dysregulation or fear based responding that I seem to have which often prompts “sin”. I want to make clear to members that these thoughts are not definitive treatise on the subjects. Just an attempt to stimulate thought or discussion and provide information based on my study and experience. Today I look further at the disease of alcoholism focusing on it as a spiritual malady. The mental aspect of this disease is absolutely baffling- that is an understatement. We become so fixated on it that almost everything we do leads us to think about getting intoxicated.
People like us are obsessed with the thought of controlling and enjoying our drugs or alcohol. The biggest problem is that our mind buys the lie that the next time it will be different. The reason we cannot just quit is that our mind constantly has us believe that we can control and enjoy our drinking. No matter what the consequences were in the past, our mind will be obsessed with the thought of drinking. Recovered means free from the obsession and constant struggle to stay sober. That will be lifted if you correctly follow the twelve steps in the book. Alcoholics Anonymous, the book that was created in the late 1930s was used to get people sober. Alcoholics would read and follow the steps in the book and get sober.
There is no “one right way” to cure them, just as there is no one best antibiotic for an infection. But there are certain things that work better than others. Jaywalker Lodge believes wholeheartedly in the 12-Step what is a spiritual malady program of recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Because it has worked to change the lives of most of us who work here. The 12-Step program and its spiritual approach practically built Jaywalker Lodge.