Alcoholism, Addiction, and the Double Life

“What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. He decides to exert himself more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious; as the case may be still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame he becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well?

Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony? Our self-centered-ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. – pg. 61 How It Works, from the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Often times even after receiving alcohol addiction help and getting sober the alcoholic likes to enjoy a double life like an actor in a play and gets upset when things go awry. Little do we know that our lack of success in this area has little to do with how we manage things but instead is a result of trying to take our will back, and enjoy “stirring things up” without wanting to deal with the consequences. We are often oblivious to this reality and are under the delusion that if only everyone else played along everything would be okay. When we enter into a drug addiction detox, AA, or 30 day rehab program we learn how to become a team player, and live an altruistic lifestyle. At this point we can finally see that it’s not all about us but rather about the fact that we are all bonded through this disease that has stripped everything from us and in turn share a common solution. Recovery is much bigger than us and our desires. It is a freedom from the bondage of self and our only role in this play is to be of service and help others recover from alcoholism.

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