Friday, February 13, 2009

Addiction, Recovery, Higher Power, Choice, and Community

I mentioned yesterday that I would say a few things more about free choice. I think that much of our lives are predetermined or certainly out of our control but we always have the gift of free choice in how we respond to circumstances, face moral dilemmas, and cope with our weaknesses. This certainly applies to addiction and recovery. The genetic tendency towards alcoholism is predetermined, the ability to stop at one drink is beyond the alcoholic's own power, the chances of relapse high and yet there are numerous choices in recovery to be made that affect whether or not one will pick up that first drink. Does one stay in community, obtain a sponsor, keep away from high risk situations, call someone for help in time of need, etc.? These are free choices that one can make that will greatly infuence what will happen.

Yet at the same time I believe that on our own we are unable to consistently make the right choices. This applies to all of us, not just those in recovery. We will continue to do the things we don't want to do and won't do the things we ought. This is our predetermined state. Alone we are incapable. We must appeal to a higher power to enable us to continue to do right and steer us back on track when we go wrong.I also think that whether or not one believes in God, that that higher power must include participation in a community of those who recognize that we are all in the same boat and that it takes the community to help us survive. So of all the choices we make I believe that most important one is the choice to belong to a community of those who are attempting to live how we would like to live, whether that community is AA, church, a men's group, women's group etc.

Thought for the day

" God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us".

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