The AA Big Book is legendary. Not only is it full of guidance and information, but it helps many people have a constant resource for sobriety. In that vein, it’s good to know that you’re never truly alone. Contact one of our Greenville rehabilitation experts today!
Take Responsibility for “Your Side of the Street”
There is a meaningful portion of the Big Book that talks about sweeping your side of the street. The element that this lesson address is taking responsibility for your actions and not the actions of others. Many recovering alcoholics struggle to disassociate their actions with the actions of others. Nearly all addicts experience guilt for the actions of others, and that’s what this lesson is really about. If you did the best you could, or are doing the best you can, then that’s all that can be done.
The lesson here has two elements. You have the physical side where if you owe a debt or damaged something, then you need to make that right. However, there’s the other side of the street too. If someone owes you something, you can’t make them pay it back.
Then you look at the mental side. What can you do to uphold your responsibility? You can apologize for the issues that arose during your addiction. But you can’t make anyone accept that apology. You’re throwing good things over to their side of the street, and what they do with it is their decision.
Progress and Perfection Are Different Ideals
Perfection is the defeat of many goals. From losing weight to hitting new heights in a career, perfection instills an impossible end-goal. You can aspire to “get thin” or “never drink again,” but those are out of reach. Yes, you may very well never drink again, or you may hit that goal weight. But if your only focus is on that always, or never, then you won’t reach it.
The reason for the mantra, “one day at a time,” is to keep the focus on the progress. The journey is infinitely more important than the destination. Your sobriety is not an item on a list waiting for a checkmark. Even 20 or 30 years from now, you will still need to put daily focus into your progress. The progress is the mark of success, not perfection.
Progress, not perfection, has become one of the most well-known slogans for 12-step programs.
Gratitude Fosters Success
From writing gratitude lists to thanking people and God in meetings, gratitude is huge in AA. Why? Well, it starts to rewire the brain to focus on the positive. It’s easy to sit there and say, man, I even miss the hangovers. But it’s difficult to say that you’re thankful that your mom picked up the phone today. But that mentality will eventually become easy and perpetuate success.
Creating a “Searching and Fearless Inventory of Ourselves”
In Chapter 6 of the Big Book, the 12-step programs urge people to conduct a humbling inventory of themselves. That serves to say, a ruthless inventory. Most people will never look at their life as critically as an alcoholic; unfortunately, alcoholics also have a tendency to self-victimize. For example, someone who experienced childhood abuse and alcoholism may think these things were done to me.
But, during the inventory, the goal is to do a bit of “housecleaning.” The house cleaning in that situation would be, yes, I experienced childhood abuse, and because of that, I know I can survive trauma. But, also part of this process is to eliminate the double-life situation of alcoholism.
Everyone should create consistency between their inner self, and the one they put out to the world. The self-loathing and ongoing victimization aren’t going to disappear overnight. But, as part of having an inventory, you can evaluate these parts of your life with a new perspective.
Take Things As They Come — Call Rehab Carolinas To Change Your Days
It’s true that you can find many of the “Big Books” greatest lessons in various locations. But living them while going through recovery can change your perspective on getting and staying sober. It can also help you build all the tools you need to manage your recovery. That means you can have all the tools and the mental strength necessary to face-on a trigger such as going to a wedding that you know will have alcohol.
At Rehab Carolinas, our focus is giving you the skills and information necessary for you to take charge of your life. As you gain your life back, you can always turn to our rehabilitation experts at Rehab Carolinas for support. Get started today.