I had a long discussion with my sponsee last night. She had expressed that after a recent relapse, she thinks she may never “get” our 12 Step program. I once was as hopeless and remember that feeling well, so I told her this:
I have a beast inhabiting me. It is a living and breathing entity and this beast wants me dead.
Before I found a 12 Step program I did not know how much I was nurturing this beast.
When I stopped drinking without a program I only had “arrested” this beast. I hand cuffed it and put it in the back seat of my car.
Of course this beast escaped as it is so powerful and knows me so well. It lives inside me after all.
Once I entered a 12 Step program I acquired the skills, tools, and weapons to incarcerate and contain my beast. I built a prison for it to sit in. If I could wipe the beast out completely I would, but I don’t have those tools. Yet.
When my beast starts to speak I silence it by starving it not only of alcohol, but from the negative thoughts that the beast will use to manipulate me into helping it escape from its cell, overtake my life, and then finally end it.
Some days I have compassion for this beast and I find myself indulging it with my negative thoughts. When I catch myself talking to it I take my tools and my higher-power and I get back to work on maintaining its prison.
I “get” this program so well because I know how this beast operates now. I have learned how to arrest and contain it because I followed a program of action, sought out advice from many others in the fellowship who have successfully contained their beasts.
I know not everyone wants to be part of a 12 Step Program. I was that way for many years. That beast was a master at convincing me a program wasn’t for me.
So if you are on the fence about trying a program, think about what your beast wants you to do.
I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, I know from experience the beast can be can tamed. My thoughts are geared toward the people who are in active use or chronically relapsing and are considering AA or other programs.