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Changing myself and the way I think

GYE Corp. Monday, 27 February 2012

The program (12-Step) way of looking at the whole business, is actually different than what we are used to. It is even different from what normal people without these problems are used to.

The program is not about answering questions of how to beat the desire. It is not an answer to the problem at all. It does not make one "stronger" at all. It is about changing myself and the way I think, so that I do not have the problem in the first place.

This is done by the steps, and by being part of a group of other people with the same problem, who are getting better the same way. It would not work at all if it was done under the instruction of a teacher, Rav, or shrink, because it is about being together with folks who know you because they are the same as you are, in this respect.

Looking at it as "a struggle", I find useless and poisonous for me. To struggle, for me, implies that I can beat it if I only try hard enough, and that is how I got so messed up in the first place.

I got messed up my way. Now it is time to do things a different way. Because I finally became ready for things to be different.

And yes, the solution is not "long term", but neither is your kabolas ol malchus shomayim (accepting the Yoke of Heaven in Kriyas Shema) each day. You can only be mekabel it for today, right? Can you eat for tomorrow? Can you go to the bathroom extra today, so that you will not need to go tomorrow? No. In the same way, a person can "commit" himself to keeping the Torah/"mekabel the ol" forever, but his commitment is actually nonsense. You cannot guarantee that you will keep it tomorrow. It says "asher anochi metzavecha hayom - which I have commanded you TODAY" in the Kriyas sh'ma, no? It's really, really new, each day.

This is how the program's solution works, for me. This is all it means when we say, "One day at a time".

When we get honest about our limitations - like when we say, "we are sober only for today", it's not because it is too hard to do a week or a year. It is not about willpower at all! It's because it is simply the truth: we are only sober one day at a time, and that is our only business. Not tomorrow. Focusing on tomorrow's sobriety is just more silliness.

We get honest with ourselves and with others like us, to make it all more real to us. And that is the first step.

If you want to know a lot about the 12 steps, I suggest reading the books called "the SA white book", and the book called "Alcoholics Anonymous".

But what worked for me was not reading or studying. It was attending SA meetings, spending time with other people who have my type of problem and who were getting better, and actually following the directions of the steps to the letter.

Thank-you for your patience with me. It takes me a long time to say things, sorry.