Big Book Musings: “They are restless…”
I 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.
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.
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.