“If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.” – The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 58
When we are in a state of pure, unadulterated desperation, we easily agree to the idea of being “willing to go to any length”. We are desperate in such a wholly and complete way that we may be inclined to think our dedication will last without fail. If we can hold onto this sense of desperation, then, more than likely, we will, in fact, do whatever we have to do in order to get sober.
As we begin to rebuild our lives, we may, in fact, lose a sense of the driving pain that initially propelled us forward in our pursuit of relief. The Recovery that we’ve been shown is legitimately possible by others has been constructed upon a very concrete foundation of misery. When we are new, that agonizing despair is so close to and riding on the nerves of the very surface of our soul, it easy to access and overwhelming to feel. All of this lends itself to being willing to do anything to return to a state of sanity.
What happens when our lives kick back in and begin to expand with newly-discovered opportunities? Perhaps we go back to work, reacquire items we had lost, begin authentic friendships which differ from the lower companions and fair-weather company we may have kept. What happens to that sense of desperation? We may lose our grip on those feelings which firmly tethered us to our start in a Program and as we become more involved in life, we may become less and less overtly desperate.
This potentially eventual side-winding can be thwarted by working with newcomers and in seeing their fight to find a way to stay alive; we can be reinvigorated with the spirit of our desperation. This gives us the resolve to continue living in Recovery as opposed to slowly sliding away, which becomes a slippery slope no true alcoholic and/or addict can afford.