About Me

My photo
I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Faith, religion and Prayer will NOT keep you sober: "Faith without WORKS is dead"

You know it IS our higher power that keeps us sober, (NOT us) but faith without WORKS is dead. So prayer is only half the story. Service for me is what aligns me to my higher power and 'completes the circle' in my relationship with him/her/it/. Bill had a higher power LONG before he met Bob, but he NEEDED to try and help Dr Bob to stay sober.

AA is FULL of people who relapse who have a STRONG belief in a higher power and talk of prayer, religion and what have you, but at the same time do NOT report that they feel " as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected." (in relation to alcohol) (p85)
In fact they often say they feel like drinking, and they relapse, a LOT.

Why is that?

"Faith without works is dead"
p88 of the Big Book

"To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action."
p93 Big Book

(about meetings)
"happy in their release, and constantly thinking how they might present their discovery to some newcomer"
p158 Big Book

NB: This thing on page 84 and 85 is a "post step nine" promise. So you should be feeling like this if you have completed the first nine steps and are keeping yourself in 'fit spiritual condition'. (p85 Big Book)

I think if it WERE true that all one needed to avoid relapse were to have a belief in god, or a higher power, that there would be a MUCH higher rate long term sobriety. Also it would be unheard of to hear people who pray report that they feel like drinking in meetings. I hear it all the time, so I became aware very quickly that belief in a god or regular prayer WITHOUT "self sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action." in the form PRIMARILY of HELPING NEWCOMERS, would be a pretty lousy recovery. So I never opted for that approach.

" Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."
AA preamble

"A newcomer a day, keeps the alcoholism at bay"

Hahaa I just made that up. Its a bit cheesy, but its true!


John said...

I would generally agree, but
I would not say dogmatically that faith, religion, and prayer will "not " keep a person sober (without AA).
I have known some recovered alcoholics who have maintained quality sobriety until death who no longer attended AA but were always available to others to carry the message.

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

I must have explained myself badly because that was PRECISELY the point I was TRYING to make!

I didnt mean 'Religion' - 'AA' = drunk, because thats not acually what the big book says. What I DO understand the big book to say is 'Religion' - 'unselfish, constructive action' = drunk. Which is a completely different reasoning.

Thanks for dropping by and posting John, and as it happens I wholeheartedlly agree with you!