Letting Go of Our Old Ideas

Like many AA gatherings I’ve been to, my home group starts off each meeting with “How It Works” from page 58 in the Big Book. We have one member who, when he does the reading, purposely stumbles over one word for emphasis. Step 10: “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wrong, promptly admitted it.” His is not my story to tell, but I could relate the exact same sort of difficulty admitting times that I might possibly not have been 100% right. They say if you stick around the rooms long enough, you’ll hear someone tell your story. This is one of those guys who was “reading my mail,” so to speak. Like him, I was the “I know, I know, I know” person. You couldn’t tell me anything. I could never admit that there was something I didn’t know, nor that anyone may know something better than I did.

Notice how all that was written past tense? See, even when I’m telling on myself I still want you to believe that this was a problem I used to have and now I’m all better. Like, maybe once upon a time I might have been wrong-ish, but I got past that. I’ll keep coming back.

As you could probably tell from my last post, I’ve been a bit more lax with my spiritual program over the last year than I have been in years past. And, of course, that has worked out for me just as well as everyone in the meetings says when they have also rested on their laurels a bit too long. Recently, I have taken to being more mindful in praying for my thinking to be divorced of self-pity, guilt, and shame as these three have taken up temporary residence in my brain. The vicissitudes of life have been rather overwhelming for me and I have fallen back into a lot of bad habits to avoid my feelings. I’ve not been drinking or drugging, but rather bingeing on Netflix and games on my phone for hours on end. Perhaps not as physically damaging, but certainly stemming from the same spiritual deficiency.

So, of course, I’ve been feeling as if I’ve gotten nowhere over this past year. My addict brain tells me that God will be upset with me or that He’s abandoned me or whatever inane nonsense addicts like to spew. But when I actually open my eyes to who I am today, I realize that God has been working on me Big Time during my spiritual hibernation. And the changes that have been taking place in me are a lot of the reason that I’ve been trying to avoid my feelings. This year has been whittling away at my dogmatic insistence about anything and everything. I have had to question long-held beliefs about who I am and what is important in life. I have had to let go of any security in the physical world and humble myself completely. I have had to admit “I can’t do it” in regards to aspects of my character that I held in high esteem. I had to let go completely. I had to admit I was “wr-wr-wr-wr-wr-wrong.”

Right around the time that things started getting super wonky, I latched onto one little bit of wisdom from pages 25-26: “[W]e had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help. This we did because we honestly wanted to, and were willing to make the effort.” These words remained near the forefront of my mind all this time, even as I stubbornly fought tooth and nail to hold onto my old ideas of who I was supposed to be. They sat there like so many people who offered me advice in early sobriety and I kept answering them the same way, “I know, I know, I know.”

Today, though, I have to ask myself, “Do I honestly want to accept spiritual help?” and “Am I willing to make the effort?” I can’t fool myself into believing that just because so many things make me think to turn back to that page and reread those words that I am actually doing what those words say. I have a choice today to either continue attempting to hold onto my remaining old ideas or to admit that I may not be 100% correct about everything I think I know. And if I am willing to admit a minor case of wrong-ness, I have to actually make some effort to rectify matters. I can’t continue to sit in the alcoholic’s dilemma with a tiny bit of willingness and action leading to a life that’s happy, joyous, and free on one hand and blotting out my consciousness leading to the hideous four horsemen on the other.

Today I chose to speak up and take some action. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And I most certainly don’t have all the answers.

2 responses to “Letting Go of Our Old Ideas”

  1. mishedup says :

    man, i have missed you! good stuff here..glad you’re back and sharing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sociological Fragments

A blog offering excerpts of sociology-related texts.

"...write this..."

Reflections of a Preacher-Poet

Queen of Free

Save Money & Slay Debt

A Walk on the Wild Side

For those who love addicts


My blog to help me stop drinking.

What...Me Sober?

Stumbling along the Middle Path, one day at a time.

As if, Emily.

Diary of a teenage hedonist.


There are no coincidences.

Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario


Mixed-up, Mashed-up, Mished-up.


Crazy is relative. Just ask my relatives. And music!

Drunky Drunk Girl

A blog about getting sober

A Life Less Agitated...

Journeys, adventures, life, death, and finding my way

The Beggar's Bakery

"Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread" - D. T. Niles


Another Kind of Perfect


How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

A Soul's Walk

Every day a soul must walk

Laurie Works

MA., NCC, RYT, Somatic Witch

My Healing Recovery

Healing from the inside

The Sober Journalist

A blog about quietly getting sober

Sober Courage

from liquid courage to sober courage

Sober Grace

Finding and practicing grace in recovery

My Story

A Place to be Mindful a Place to Heal


-Postcards from The Cauldron


...all those things we don't talk about in polite society

Mended Musings

Healing, Feeling, Thriving

Jack's BED

And Jill came tumbling after...

As Jim Sees It

These are things I've learned staying Sober.


Memoir of a Maldivian drug addict in recovery


Survivor of Child Abuse - Member in Recovery

Expatriation was easier as a broke college student

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

borough of lost boys

creative non-fiction. pursuit of truth.

Friending Myself

A sobering journey to greater love. For me. By me.

Sober Identity

#Life Coach #50+ Years #Striving #Thriving #Emerge: Growing From Addiction-Starter's Guide" #AfterRehabCoaching

Life Corked

Living Life One Day At A Time

Dorothy Recovers

An evolving tale of a new life in recovery


A Place for Those Affected by Addiction

Heather Kopp

Words fail, but sometimes I try

%d bloggers like this: