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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.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Its not the 'craving' that makes you drink. Its the presence or absence of a 'mental defense' that is CRITICAL to staying sober

"Our so called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, AT CERTAIN TIMES, *(ie not ALL the time) to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink."
Page 24 Big Book.

"Once more: The alcoholic AT CERTAIN TIMES *(ie not ALL the time) has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few cases, neither he NOR ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power."
Page 42 Big Book.
*My insert!

The problem is not the craving as such. The problem is whether your 'mental defense' is shot! Good old Dr Bob suffered from cravings for TWO AND A HALF YEARS!! But, most importantly, he said "at no time have I been anywhere near yielding." See?
So what I'm saying is, don't concern yourself with the cravings, they indicate very little. It helps a LOT If you do Not skip meals or let yourself get thirsty. And stretching yourself to the point of exhaustion is NOT allowed!! Basic HALT really..
Eating something sweet, or a sweet drink can make cravings disappear. All this stuff is in living sober by the way.

There's a Big difference between a craving and a compulsion. If you have a craving but your 'mental defense' stays intact, then all is well!

The problem is when the mental defense is like Swiss cheese! And a momentary (amnesia induced) lapse in recall, leads us to believe we can put our hand on the (metaphorical) hot stove. Well THAT'S when we have a problem! Its all covered in the first three chapters in detail.

"There is a complete failure of the kind of defense that keeps one from putting his hand on a hot stove."
Page 24 Big Book.

The 'compulsion' is relieved if we adhere to the suggested actions. Higher power, talking to alcoholics, meetings, service. Its a basic drill. Nothing weird.
So you are in good company with the cravings!

From "Dr. Bobs NightMare"
"I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
1 Sense of duty.
2 It is a pleasure.
3 Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4 Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.
Unlike most of our crowd, I did not get over my craving for liquor much during the first two and one-half years of abstinence. It was almost always with me. But at no time have I been anywhere near yielding. "

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