Big Book Musings: “They are restless…”


big book musings on justruminating men's blogI am sure you all know, but I will tell you anyway.  The “Big Book,” as it’s called, is the text of Alcoholics Anonymous and has remained virtually unchanged since it was first published in April of 1939.

Essentially it is a guide to becoming, and remaining sober.  In the Big Book one can learn how to live by the 12 Steps, AA’s set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for tackling problems including alcoholism, as well as other problems the alcoholic will face in life.

I have read the Big Book a few times over my life.  However, this is the first time I am really reading the Big Book.  I have decided to spend time here studying this literature and, it is my hope, to be able to incorporate some of the principles it sets forth.

To that end I thought I would, on occasion, share some of my Big Book Musings with you.  Share a passage that I find particularly meaningful, and apply it to my own life.

Today’s Musing

On page xxviii, The Doctor’s Opinion, I found a passage that spoke to me:

“They [alcoholics] are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks…”

Ah yes, how well I know these feelings.  I am still feeling them today, 8 months into my sobriety.  And, unless I find inner contentment and a Higher Power, I am probably doomed to feel restless, irritable and discontented forever.restless on justruminating men's blogirritable on justruminating men's blogdiscontent

I have also been working on gratitude, something that greatly reduces those negative feelings when I am mindful enough to practice it.  It’s a lot easier said than done.  We addicts want immediate gratification, and we want it yesterday!

I have gotten away from something that was really keeping me grounded:  meditation!  I really need to get back to meditation because, when I was practicing it, meditation kept me grounded and kept my mind at ease.

Replacing restless with restfulness, irritability with acceptance, and discontentment with gratification is not as difficult as it seems.

I find if I can remind myself of the opposite actions necessary to take to combat these 3 “killers” of affect, then I am nearly 90% of the way there.  The other 10% is just sheer will on most days.

14 comments on “Big Book Musings: “They are restless…””

  1. I think most folks struggle with discontentment, and have since the beginning of time. Whether we are alcoholics or have a Higher Power. We humans have a nature for impatience – instant gratification as you say. I think that is why in the bible, God tells us to “wait” many, many times. There is something so much better than what we want NOW. I heard a sermon one time and the catch phrase was, “Are you will to trade what you really want for what you want right now?” It was a good sermon and not too preachy if you have about 45 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post as always. The other day I took out “My Daily Moral Inventory”. It’s a business size wallet card of liabilities and assets, as you describe in your blog here.
    I’ve had it for years, but haven’t used it as intended. It’s now in front of my NYS D/L because I need some reminders. Lately, I’ve been restless, irritable and discontent. Honestly, it’s been going on for a while now. Yet, I have done nothing but stay miserable. You have reminded me of taking action and “practicing these principles in all my affairs”. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am proud of you celebrating 8 months sober. I know that is no easy feat. When I read your posts, I hear determination in you. I feel you will be successful in your recovery. There is so much we can all learn from each other, no matter our differences. Addiction and mental health go hand in hand. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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