Big Book Musings: “Hopelessness and Futility…”
In the There Is A Solution chapter of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, the solution is clearly laid. It says:
Almost none of us liked the self-searching, the leveling of our pride, the confession of shortcomings which the process requires for its successful consummation. But we saw that it really worked in others, and we had come to believe in the hopelessness and futility of life as we had been living it.
In essence this is the 4th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous:
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The solutions, up this point were admitting we were powerless, came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, finally decided to give ourselves up to God as we understood Him, and now some deep soul searching and inventory of ourselves. It’s no wonder some can’t stay on the path, this sobriety stuff is serious business!
In recovery, as There Is A Solution points out, there is no “middle-of-the-road” solution. As alcoholics we had to stop playing mind tricks with ourselves. We had to stop thinking we could control our drinking, that we could somehow manage to slow it down or do controlled drinking.
No, once we accepted we were powerless and gave ourselves over to our Higher Power, it was time to have what a doctor tells Bill are “vital spiritual experiences.” He tells Bill:
To me these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional dsiplacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them.
So, nothing short of a complete reversal in behavior and thinking, is going to keep us sober. With the help of a Higher Power, true sobriety can be had, and kept.