Beginning With Fire
The Story of Addiction, Human Nature, and Evolution
Chapter Ten — Guidelines & Allies
Trustworthy guidelines, and a community of allies. These are the “must haves” for resolving addiction. But so often guidelines becomes rules; allies become cops and/or bosses. Then we’re back in the world of control, and the work of sobriety is compromised, sometimes beyond salvation. We will see how these confusions often manifest in the program and fellowship of AA, which is a source of extraordinary wisdom, but also subject to all kinds of abuse and misuse. Warts and all, though, AA is potentially an ideal ground for developing the third level of trust; “ I can be loved.”
The famous “twelve steps” of AA point us in useful directions, and disclose some provocative surprises. For starters, after the first seven words of Step One, there is no mention of alcohol, or drinking. As one source has it, “Alcoholism is 3% alcohol, and 97% ism.” The steps are about the “ism” of addiction; about learning how to abandon control, accept responsibility — and embrace and celebrate life, moment by moment.