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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: I AM A DEFEATED ADDICT UPDATED: I’m not a recovered alcoholic, I am a defeated one. I’ve thrown in the towel
Author: Fraser Trevor
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I’m not a recovered alcoholic/addict, I am a defeated one. I’ve thrown in the towel I’m permanently at risk, because what most alcoholi...
I’m not a recovered alcoholic/addict, I am a defeated one. I’ve thrown in the towel

I’m permanently at risk, because what most alcoholic men or women do is to drink, and I need to be aware that the most important thing in my life is that I don’t drink alcohol or take other drugs and that I attend AA/CA and do the best I can about that program of recovery.

 In the past, I used to drink to and for oblivion, to try and block out all those dreadful feelings of self-hatred and lack of worth. If we didn’t forget the dreadful pain that we suffered, we wouldn’t get out of bed. But it’s not true for alcoholism. Alcoholic men and women need to remember organically where we’ve come from, otherwise we would soon forget, and soon forget the dreadful effect that alcohol and other drugs had upon us.But that remembering of failure, as it were, is really hard on the ego, and I wonder whether AA is teaching us something about the fact that vulnerability can actually be ironically the source of our strength. That is, weakness can be a stepping stone to strength.That’s absolutely true, and it’s really only by surrendering to the fact that we’re powerless over alcohol…and most alcoholics can’t get and stay sober through an isolated exercise of the will. Most alcoholic men and women need help. AA is by far the most successful agency, so I often tell people, well, why not avail yourself of the best.How fortunate we are as members of the AA fellowship to have other sober alcoholics who can understand us and to whom we can confide, and to have such a network of support to cradle us during the difficult times that we all face. What a contrast to the atomised existence that I led when in the grip of alcoholism and other drug addiction.At least once a day I recite the AA Serenity Prayer, ‘Please, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’  That’s a profound invitation to surrender. Who do you surrender to, or what do you surrender to?

I suppose I surrender to the reality that I can’t stay sober on my own, that I need help. It’s very unclear to me what I surrender to, but it’s certainly true that the meetings that I go to, the AA movement as a whole is a power greater than myself.

And letting go is…you see, the isolated exercise of the will almost never works over the long term with alcoholism and addiction. Over the long term most alcoholics need to remember where we’ve come from and to realise that almost all of us need help.
If I am to remain sober, I believe that I need to regularly attend AA meetings and to consciously do what I can about AA’s suggested program of recovery. That is to say, I’m only free of alcohol and other drugs not because I am smart or wilful or clever, but because I have accepted the need for me to surrender on a daily basis. In the words of Broken Hill Jack’s sponsor, the late Bobbie Delaney, who was Australia’s light heavyweight boxing champion, ‘I’m not a retired alcoholic, I’m a defeated one.
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