Endigar 165

This is a selfish program.  It has to be, in order for it to be truly successful.  Anything that I really do well appeals to some aspect of my selfishness.  “Go after recovery like you would go after your drug of choice.”  I pursued my DOC with unbridled selfishness by seeking the fulfillment of my personal interests, and casting a blind eye to the wants and needs of others in my environment, even my lovenviron. 

Yet eventually, the program redirects my attention away from the recovery of addiction or alcoholism or compulsion, and says that I should now focus on overcoming selfishness.  And that is really confusing.  I have tried to adapt to this double talk by dividing the word selfishness into the concept of self-enthronement and self-interest.  In my mind, when we talk positively about selfishness in the program, I say that we mean self-interest.  And when we talk about it in a negative way, I see self-enthronement.

I think I understand that there are two primary levels to recovery.  Recovery from my substance abuse, and recovery from my selfishness, or self-enthronement.  Now that I have recovered from the obsession of the disease (not the disease itself), I am no longer in panic mode.   And I am presented with a choice yet again.  The path of Bill Wilson or the path of Ebby Thatcher.  Bill’s path was to seek a complete surrender to his Higher Power through the abandonment of self-enthronement.  Ebby Thatcher could surrender the alcohol and bring the disease into remission, but he could not recognize that he was also powerless over self-enthronement.    He could not see that this powerlessness would manifest itself in his  recovery that lead to some form of periodic relapse, either a return of the obsession to drink or through the overwhelming manifestation of his short-comings.  My first step thus becomes;  We admitted we were powerless over self-enthronement, and that our lives had become unmanageable. 

I will seek my self interests at the expense of others, even those in my lovenviron.  I see the world as I would like it to be, and in the intimate reality of my imagination, I am enthroned.  I set about working to make my kingdom come, on our earth, in our interactive reality, as it is in my heaven, my intimate reality.  In my heart, I am God.

The only way this is going to work is if all the others who live in the interactive reality bow to me.  And that includes all the power of the universe, so that no circumstance occurs outside of my control.  Ebby has already proved for us that his path does not work.  And that may have been his greatest contribution aside from sponsoring Bill Wilson.  He conducted the field research on this and demonstrated its futility.

But the half measures of self-knowledge avails me nothing in this process.  That just lets me know how thoroughly fucked I am.  I will enthrone myself again and again.  I feel I have legitimate reasons not to trust my Higher Power in all areas.  I can argue my points, but I have come to discover that it is really a matter of altering my perspective, not winning arguments.  I never win these arguments.  My acceptance issues are only solved by my acceptance. 

A friend of mine I met at Fort Benning once said, “Rick, I want you to hear me on this.  Please listen to me.  Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself, alone.  But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.  It becomes useful and powerful.  Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world, a life ruled by personal powerlessness, will gain a life that leads to an eternal manifestation.”  [Paraphrase of John 12: 24,25]

In honor of Ebby Thatcher who gave Bill and all of us in the 12 step recovery program the concept of following a God of our own understanding (GOMU – God of my understanding), the saving heresy of this program, I have written out a prayer for those caught in chronic relapse, which is based on Old Testament Scripture:  Micah, Chapter 7, verses seven and eight:

But as for me, I will look to the God of my understanding, and confident in him I will keep watch; 

We will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of our recovery;

Our Higher Power will hear us.

Rejoice not against me, O my disease;

When I fall, We shall arise;

When I sit in darkness, Gomu shall be a light to me.


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