The Newcomer by Peter Marinelli
The spiritual malady leads to mental obsession which then leads us back to a drink or drug or some other obsessive compulsive behavior, such as sex sprees, money sprees, food sprees, ect.
The spiritual malady, like unmanageability is an internal condition, not an external one. External conditions are not a remedy form an internal condition called alcoholism or addiction. The alcoholic/addict is victimized by the delusion that internal happiness will result from successfully managed external conditions.
The right amount of money or the right job or relationship are not the solutions to addiction. It is only through the spiritual awakening that we get recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. When this spiritual malady is over come, we straighten our mentally and physically.
We suffer from a three-fold illness, of body, mind and spirit.
Step one tells us we are going to drink or drug, not that we can’t. We will be compelled to use, as we are powerless – without power, without choice and without control.
We need to not only look at the conditions of our life because of our using, but to get clear on what sort of thinking we had about using before we picked up. This is the real unmanageability. That we cannot stop using on our own power no matter how great the necessity or the wish, no matter what was at stake, we still were compelled to use. The mind will always take us back to that which is killing us, over and over and over. The main problem for the alcoholic, centers in his mind, rather than in his body
The word powerless in step one is interchangeable with the words choice and control. So what we have is a lack of power choice and control. If we have no power we have no choice. If we have no choice we have no control.
Step one is in two parts. The first part refers to the lack of power (choice and control) we have in the mind (obsession) before we pick up. The mind will take us back to that which is killing us regardless of the consequences to follow.
Common phases that accompany this are “it will be different this time”, “I can handle it”, “It won’t be as bad as last time” thereby convincing ourselves it’s ok to use once more.
Sometimes there is no thought at all of the consequences and we find ourselves using, wondering how we got started in the first place. This is called a “strange mental blank spot”. So trying to think it through is not a successful remedy. (See p.24 Big Book)
This is accompanied with the lack of power, choice and control we have in the body (allergy or craving) after we pick up. Once we pick up the body begins its craving, always needing more. The craving is always intensified never satisfied.
When answering the following questions, answer from your own personal experience.
- Based on my experience. When I honestly wanted to, did I find I could not quit entirely?
- Based on my experience. When drinking/ drugging, did I have little control over the amount I took?
- Based on my experience. On my own power, could I control the stopping or the starting?
- Based on my experience. If I had a sufficient reason to stop, did I still continue to use?
- Based on my experience. Did I have a powerful desire to stop, and still continued to use?
- Based on my experience. Did will power or trying to use other activities, prevent me from picking up a drink and or a drug?
- Based on my experience. Do I think I can stop using for good on my own power? If I do, then how come you haven’t done so yet?
- Based on my experience. Is it possible that my way does not work?
- Based on my experience. Do I believe that I am an alcoholic / addict?
10.If so, am I willing to go to any lengths to recover?
Chop wood, carry water