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In Modern Terms, What is the Spiritual Malady of AA?

For me this maladjustment to life is not exactly the same as the spiritual disease mentioned in the Oxford Group pamphlet. I am not advocating changing anything, I hope AA recovery remains as it is for 80 more years and much more years. I would not change one word in the first 164 pages of the BB. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the YourFirstStep.org hotline is a confidential Sober Home and convenient solution. It asks them to allow themselves to have a new experience of what these things can mean to them. In other words, the spirituality we encourage at MARR is not a dogmatic set of beliefs. Instead, we help our clients foster an open attitude to trying new solutions. The desire chip, also known as the One Day or 24 Hours chip, is used to help the member pursue their desire to stay sober for the first 24 hours.

  • AA provides many ways of becoming more emotionally well, which ultimately means more emotionally mature.
  • This means that the experience looks different for different people.
  • The third positive benefit is that someone who is obsessively seeking to improve has greater interpersonal sensitivity.
  • While in treatment, though I prayed a lot and tried to focus on « the spiritual aspect » my early progress became stalled, after a point, until I could achieve a couple of more-or-less « academic » understandings.
  • I realised when doing my step 4 that that I had not previously been able to leave various supposed slights and abuses from my past in the past because I did not have the emotional maturity to look at these episodes reasonably and objectively.
  • However in order to treat it we have to first contend with the symptomatic manifestation of this disorder, chronic alcohol use, as it is the most life threatening aspect of this disorder when we present our selves at AA.

In fact, I felt “more me” when I drank, it was like I escaped a restrictive sense of self to be a more expansive, people loving self. I had a connection with the world I could not generate myself, when sober. Alcoholics and children of alcoholics have a tendency to avoid emotions in fact and to use emotional reasoning when arguing a point. The magic of the the steps is that they seem to reveal the patterns of behaviour that our actions have prompted over the course of our lives. It helps us see ourselves and our condition of alcoholism and how it effects us and others. Is describing, essentially is referring to a stark void in our lives that we constantly attempt to fill with outside things such as drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, or anything we can think to try to feel better. It is the emptiness we feel on such a deep level that we turn to self-medication in order to alleviate the sadness and despair that go hand in hand with.

Spirituality in Recovery Means Freedom

That is to say, daily Jewish spiritual practices are also intended to heal, renew and affect change. The doctors opinion emphasizes more on the physical craving part and talks about the spiritual malady part as the state of being restless irritable and discontented. Doesnt talk much about the Mental Twist/Blank spots that the alcoholic runs into just prior to the first drink. We do not recover as the result of an « intellectual awakening. » All those stories in the back of the book, and there is not a single example of anyone thinking his way healthy. But I had those intellectual road blocks, and my.spiritual progress stalled after a while and proceeded only after those two lessons travelled the 12 inches from my head to my heart. I do agree that 99.9% of human have a spiritual sickness and – IMHO – everybody could use what we learn here in the Steps of AA!
aa spiritual malady
But in our quest to fill this void with any and everything we can think of, we completely miss that the only thing that can actually fulfill us a spiritual connectedness to something greater than ourselves. Regardless of beliefs, a spirituality of open-mindedness provides the opportunity for a new experience of life. It allows a person an opportunity not only to escape addiction but to have a life they never thought possible. In the Big Book of A.A., the terms “spiritual experience,” “spiritual awakening,” or “psychic change” come up again and again. The AA Preamble Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. In hindsight, this seems like such a simple shift in perspective – perhaps even obvious – but accepting it at the time was momentous for me.

What is a desire chip in AA?

I am shamed and disgusted that my neighourhood has come to this. I am dismissive of them, intolerant, impatient and arrogant towards them. Sometimes the shame persists for some time and I try to relieve it by behavioral addictions, too much shopping, too much eating, too much objectification of the opposite sex. These are all parts of my emotionally entangled web that is spun when I react to some sense of rejection. I grew up in a family that did not express emotions like the ones I had mentioned. We reacted via anger and put downs hence I have grown up to be dismissive. My past constantly assailed me emotionally, randomly attacking my mind. I realised when doing my step 4 that that I had not previously been able to leave various supposed slights and abuses from my past in the past because I did not have the emotional maturity to look at these episodes reasonably and objectively.

One can see how this concept of sin disease or in other words spiritual malady could be and was applied to early AA and incorporated into the Big Book of AA. The spiritual principles of AA and the 12 steps in particular were drawn from the 4 absolutes of the Oxford group, via initially the 6 steps and the idea of a spiritual malady is also borrowed from the Oxford group. I do not believe I have the same spiritual malady as other normal people such as those people who were in the Oxford Group. On page 62 the text explains that“Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.”This“SELFISHNESS-self-centeredness”(or the “ego”, as some people refer to it) drives us to respond to life situations with the above “symptoms” as well as disorders and addictions other than alcoholism. For a long time I thought my life was unmanageable because of all the crazy insane things I did while drinking — like the car accidents, hurting people when I didn’t mean to, failed relationships, loss of jobs, family dysfunction, jails, asylums, etc. In conclusion, staying spiritually healthy means trying to keep ourselves open to being surprised by life. A prayer common to 12 Step Fellowships beautifully summarizes this sentiment. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pragmatically talks about spirituality. Above all, the spirituality required for successful recovery involves open-mindedness.

If they are entirely normal then surely that would mean they have no resentments, they are not self centered etc. I have sought refuge from my negative emotions in alcohol, drugs and other addictive behaviours. It is this that propelled my addictions, this inability to deal with my negative emotions. I dealt with them externally via addictive behaviours, not internally via emotion processing. This mesh of negative emotions can link up fairly instantaneously I find.
aa spiritual malady
Bill Wilson had got this idea of abnormal, or allergic reaction to alcohol, from a physician, Dr Silkworth, who had treated him at Towns Hospital. “… unacknowledged thoughts and feelings become repressed and surface later through substitute emotions and dysfunctional behavior. Other emotions are substituted to hide the shame and maintain self esteem. Anger, exaggerated pride, anxiety and helplessness are substituted to keep from feeling the total blackness of being bad. The buried shame is expressed through defense mechanisms that shield negative unconscious material from surfacing. It was a list of the negative emotions which appear always when I felt anger and resentment against someone for hurting me and my feelings. Unless, we let Go and Let God and ask God to remove these negative emotions/sins/defects of character we end up in a futile increasingly distressed spiral of negative emotions. In Grace we can still experience negative emotions but God allows us to see them for what they are and not react. His Grace takes the distress out of thee negative emotions. For me we engage futilely and distressingly in resentment because we have an inability to process and control our emotions, they overwhelm us and we often react by people pleasing or react via various defense mechanisms .

Blogging The Language of the Heart

This turned out to be a brilliant idea for two reasons. I have resentments because they are a true sign of emotion dysfunction. We are far from being Saints but have a solution Saints would approve and achieve a kind of transient sanctity in this 12 step solution of letting go and letting God. I also impressed upon him that mostly I can manage this emotional dysfunction but often I fail to and get into a resentful aa spiritual malady anger. Attempting to live according to God’s Will also helps me not react but to act with Grace. The guy was probably in guilt too as he could been working on his recovery more. I explained to him that his pride had been hurt, he was in shame and his “apparent” depression every since was simply prolonged self pity. This seems compounded by not always being able to read our emotions or somatic states.
aa spiritual malady
Be a warrior and slay desire, the powerful enemy of the soul. What Power is it that drives a man to act sinfully, even unwillingly, as if powerlessly. …….I am working the 12 step again with the Guidance of BBA.com Group. It is interesting that a common definition of “spiritual” as it relates to AA, is a sense of connection with others. Unhappiness to us and others, discontent, and, frequently, mental and bodily ill health are the direct results of Sin. Part of the problem may lie in not being specific enough about what alcoholism is.