Complacency and Slips

as_bill_sees_itMy favorite meeting of the week is Tuesday – Tuesdays mornings to be exact. The meeting surrounds the gem of a book, “As Bill Sees It.” What I like best about this book and the meeting is that it’s a bit of a forced topic. I often like that. I tend to ramble, so direction is still necessary. Anyhow, the meeting was about page 99 in “As Bill Sees It” and the page is entitled

“The “Slipper” Needs Understanding.”

“Slips can often be charged to rebellion; some of us are more rebellious than others. Slips may be due to the illusion that one can be `cured’ of alcoholism. Slips can also be charged to carelessness and complacency. Many of us fail to ride out these periods sober. Things go fine for two or three years — then the member is seen no more. Some of us suffer extreme guilt because of vices or practices that we can’t or won’t let go of. Too little self-forgiveness and too little prayer — well, this combination adds up to slips.

“Then some of us are far more alcohol-damaged than others. Still others encounter a series of calamities and cannot seem to find the spiritual resources to meet them. There are those of us who are physically ill. Others are subject to more or less continuous exhaustion, anxiety, and depression. These conditions often play a part in slips — sometimes they are utterly controlling.”

What I truly connected to in this reading was the “Things go fine for two or three years – then a member is seen no more.” That was me. I didn’t drink or use drugs, but my life turned around and I surely felt I got what I needed from the 12-Step program. I sort of ‘flipped my tassel’ and graduated on to just living what I thought would be a normal life. I lost touch with nearly everyone I’d struggle beside and moved on. But, I didn’t move really. I sat complacently on the side lines. My life was great but I wasn’t growing. I wanted everything to be exactly the same as it was at the moment, and when it wasn’t I would speak up and try to get them back into place.

I did that for 12 years. Yes, 12 years. Talk about complacency. I was an angry, lost, bitter, and confused person. I didn’t slip in the sense of using alcohol and/or drugs, but I did slip in my serenity. Like slipped far away, and when I came back to AA, I was stunned. AA was the same, but not the same at all. I had forgotten so many ideas and concepts. I struggled endlessly, needlessly, but I found my way. I found friends, I found serenity, I found new tools to deal with my anger, loneliness, and confusion. I asked for addiction advice, friendship, and help.

I know now that when I am feeling out our sorts like that, I need to get to meetings and listen, and then talk to other recovering alcoholics. They are truly the only ones who understand where I am at. It’s so simple but sometimes if feel so complicated.