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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: AA is spiritual, because alcoholism is spiritual.
Author: Fraser Trevor
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"When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." Page 64, Alcoholics Anonymous "The...
AA Big Book
"When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically." Page 64, Alcoholics Anonymous

"The spiritual part of the AA program is like the wet part of the ocean."   Unknown
One of the most profound realizations of my recovery was that I was entirely unable to treat the physical and mental aspects of alcoholism.  The mental infatuation with the promise of alcohol's relief and the physical compulsion to put as much of it in my bloodstream as possible were driven by a deeper pain and distress that I'd lived with so long that I could no longer identify it.  It was my factory setting, a unique wiring system that interpreted the world differently than my fellows and processed a debilitating form of self-centered fear with regularity.

So it made sense that I could not "just not pick up the first drink," no more than a tuberculosis patient could just not cough.  It was not in my control.  Grasping this was virtually impossible:  it ran against everything I'd been taught about self-control to consider the idea that I could not control my arm lifting a drink to my mouth. It felt incredibly silly to say, yet when you looked at the track record-- wasn't it true?  Had I not proven time and time again that I was without power against the first drink?
Yet much of the rhetoric I hear in AA meetings is about managing the physical and mental "aspects" of our disease.  "Think the drink through," we're told, as if the untreated alcoholic brain has any hope of imagining the consequences of drinking, or even caring about them.  "Share your problems," it's suggested, as if telling a room full of alcoholics about our marital problems is going to a) save the marriage or b) keep us from drinking. It is all an ugly manifestation of the egotistical self that is at the root of our problem, and yet it masquerades as sobriety.  Cunning, baffling and powerful.

AA is spiritual, because alcoholism is spiritual.  We must treat the root cause of our condition, or we may die. Abstinence is not the treatment, meetings are not the treatment. The 12 steps are-- a process that removes from our spirit the accumulated detrius of our self-centered behavior and connects us with a higher power of our own personal conception and understanding.  
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