Posts

Self-Pity

Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.

–Maya Angelou

Some days we grasp at self-pity like a blanket on a cold night, and we are momentarily comforted. However, extended periods of self-pity will undermine our primary purpose, which is to be at peace with ourselves and others so that we may know freedom from our addictions. Thus our self-pity prevents us from carrying a message of hope to fellow sufferers, that they too can find release from their suffering through the Twelve Steps.

Staying clean and sober are gifts available to all of us when we cultivate gratitude. We can be grateful for this program that has brought manageability and serenity to our life, and that leaves us little room for self-pity, anger, or impatience. Our mind will be willing and open to receive God’s guidance and support when we let go of our self-pity.

Today I will stay free of self-pity so I can receive God’s strength.

Great reading, this is just what I needed this morning. I am so full of gratitude for my life today. I am grateful to be sober, grateful that I am health and fit, grateful for my friends in recovery, and grateful that I have learned that I am powerless over not just alcohol, but also people, places, and things. Anytime I start feeling sorry for myself, I just need to open my eyes and look at other people and their life circumstances. I have plenty of money, clothes on my back, food to eat, and a nice place to live. My problems today are luxury problems. Being in gratitude contributes to my happiness, being present contributes to my happiness, being open and willing contributes to my happiness. Life is definitely not perfect for me. However, I am happier than I have ever been staying away from self-pity leads me to being happy, joyous, and free.

Alcoholics Anonymous

“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. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for Alcoholics Anonymous membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. Alcoholics Anonymous is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.” (Wilson, 1939)

The goal of Alcoholics Anonymous is to prevent substance abuse and to promote sobriety. The main ways that Alcoholics Anonymous pursues its goal is through Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, sponsorship, and working the Twelve-steps. Typically, a newly sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous is going to get a sponsor that will take him through the Twelve-steps, his sponsor will strongly suggest that he goes to ninety Alcoholics Anonymous meetings during his first 90 days. Alcoholics Anonymous is funded by its members through donations. A normal donation is $1-$2 per meeting. As mentioned in step twelve, the message of Alcoholics Anonymous is carried to alcoholics by its members. Members of Alcoholics Anonymous are also called “pigeons”, as a pigeon carries a message. Recovery rates of members that actually work a program and follow the principles of AA have been reported upwards of 50% after a 24 month follow-up. (Bridgeman and McQueen, 1987, p 124).

Alcoholics Anonymous works if a person is willing to get a sponsor, work the steps, do service work, go to meetings on a regular basis, get connected into the Alcoholics Anonymous community, and follow the Alcoholics Anonymous principles in all affairs. As stated in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Rarely we have we seen a persona fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves.” The main problem with Alcoholics Anonymous is that a person needs to be willing to go to any lengths to get sober. This means that he will need to do everything prescribed by the Big Book and by his sponsor. This means that he will need to humble himself and take instructions, even when he doesn’t agree.