Ways of Seeing
The alcoholic mind is anything but clear when we we first get sober. In the 1950’s if you had a drinking problem it was quite ikely that we would end up in a rubber room in a hopsital’s psychiatric ward. Part of the great legacy of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is that it did so much to change the widely held beliefs about those of us who suffered. Today’s view of Alcohilism as a disease is due in no small part to the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and the many people, including doctors, who went out on a limb for us. In many ways there is a parallel to the awakening we Alcoholics have as we sober and adopt our “design for living.” Over time we experience radical changes in our beliefs and attitudes – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly as we hear over and over again in meetings. Each time someone new tries to get sober, a memeber of alocholics anonymous goes out on a limb ljust ike our founders to bring a solution to those who still suffer. Each time we do this we carry the message by re-creating a scenario of possibility and promise just like those offered by our founders. This is how we pass it on to keep it and perhaps it is why Margaret Mead said that AA was the greatest human invention of the 20th century. Now I want to be clear, this clarity of vision and this new way of seeing is contingent on our spiritual condition. If I have gone without meetings, gone without contact with another alcoholic for a long period of time, and do not work the steps I become a jumble of thoughts and discontent. In fact, I lose my way of seeing and I visit the dark recess of the past with regret and fear. Take it a step further, I resort to old ways of behaving and thinking that first became habitual when Alcohol was my solution to everything. Today, I try to work a program that changes my attitudes and outlooks on life so that I may see the treasures in the mundane and everyday.