The mental twists that led up to my drinking began many years before I ever took a drink for I am one of those whose history proves conclusively that my drinking was “a symptom of a deeper trouble.”  Through my efforts to get down to “causes and conditions”, I stand convinced that my emotional illness has been present from my earliest recollection.   I never did react normally to any emotional situation.

The medical profession would probably tell me I was conditioned for alcoholism by the things that happened to me in my childhood.  And I am sure they would be right as far as they go, but A.A. has taught me I am the result of the way I reacted to what happened to me as a child.  What is much more important to me, A.A. has taught me through this simple program I may experience a change in this reaction pattern that will indeed allow me to “match calamity with serenity.”

The aforementioned are the direct confessions and insights of a woman who had suffered from alcoholism and came to enjoy recovery.  Her discovery was that she had never reacted normally to any emotional situation and the results of her life were related more to the reactions verses the situation itself.  A simple program allowed her to “match calamity with serenity.”

Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT) affords a similar roadmap in challenging the calamity associated with alcoholism and addictions.  It is really very simple, something that we were taught in kindergarten or the 1st grade of school, the ABCs.  A is the activating event, B is the belief about the situation, C is the consequences, D is for the dispute, and E is the effect.  Life creates situations.  The alcoholic/addict derives his/her belief or perception of the situation and ensuing consequences occur.  Resentments begin to build as the alcoholic/addict disputes the situation resulting in continued and greater negative effects and calamity than the original situation due to the alcoholic/addict responses to the dispute.  As long as the alcoholic/addict disputes the situation he/she will compulsively and rigidly over respond and perpetuate the addiction while elevating intense anxiety and disregard for reality.

The cycle of “calamity is broken are matched with serenity” by ceasing to (D) dispute the situation but rather dispute one’s (B) belief regarding the situation resulting in a different (E) effect or outcome.  The cycle of unnecessary suffering related to alcoholism and addiction can be broken.  Sometimes the disputing of one’s beliefs requires professional help due to the denial and neurological changes that occur in addiction.

You may have already asked yourself why it is that all of us became ill from drinking.  Doubtless you are curious to discover how and why, in the face of expert opinion to the contrary, we have recovered from a hopeless condition of mind and body.  If you are an alcoholic who wants to get over it, you may already be asking – “What do I have to do?” (Big Book, p. 20)

He begged the doctor (Dr. Jung) to tell him the whole truth, and he got it.  In the doctor’s judgment he was utterly hopeless; he could never regain his position in society, and he would have to place himself under lock and key or hire a bodyguard if he expected to live long.  That was the great physician’s opinion (Big Book, p. 26).

Before experiencing hope of recovering from alcoholism or addiction, does one first encounter utter hopelessness, so overwhelming that one questions if one will survive it and/or live through it?  Is this part of the necessary process to surrender and accept one’s alcoholism/addiction?

Hopelessness affords one becoming paralyzed in his/her alcoholism/addiction or becoming willing to admit one’s powerlessness, unmanageability, and related consequences and invite the presence of One greater than yourself to restore you to sanity and free you from the bondage of despair?

If you are suffering in your alcoholism or addiction(s), please contact me at this blog or through the Woodlake Addiction Recovery Center office at (225) 924-1910.  The hopelessness you are experiencing is your ticket to acceptance and ultimately freedom and hope.  Don’t waste the pain.  Use it to make a request and commitment for recovery.

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Copyright © 2019 by Woodlake Management, LLC.
All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2019 by Woodlake Management, LLC.
All rights reserved.