There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – That principle is contempt before investigation.” Herbert Spencer
At our point of surrender, there was a moment when we felt a certain sense of relief. The battle was over. We had given up the fight. The race to oblivion had come to an end. We had run the course, fueled by our addictions, living on what we thought we knew about ourselves. We ran, believing in our self-talk, which was limiting and exhausting. So, the inner rest was welcomed, if only for that instant.
We were left with a broken body and a broken spirit. We found ourselves at the starting point of an orbit we knew nothing about; the course of recovery. We knew only of our failures and had witnessed the mighty struggles of those around us. Yet, we lacked knowledge and were void of belief – the belief that we could succeed in our desire for abstinence from alcohol and drugs.
The 4-minute mile
Roger Bannister broke the one-mile speed barrier in 1954. Cracking the 4-minute barrier was once thought physically impossible. Since then, over 1600 have achieved the feat. The current record stands at 3:43.13. The point is that Roger showed the rest of the world that achievement was possible.
The 5’6’’ dunk
Anthony "Spud" Webb, who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is known for winning the 1986 Slam Dunk Contest despite being one of the shortest players in NBA history (5 ft 6 in tall). Thought unviable, he scored 2 “perfects” in the final round to defeat Dominique Wilkins, who stood 6 ft 8in tall. This event opened up the possibility for men of every height to compete to win.
The first Million
John Jacob Astor, an American Entrepreneur, became the world’s first known millionaire, believed insurmountable in the late 1800s when the average annual income was $449.80. Today 56 million people have attained this once elusive level.
The Turn to Organized Recovery
Though the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous can be traced back to John Wesley, Frank Buchman, and the Oxford Group. Though it was William Wilson, William Silkworth, and Bill Dotson who broke the barrier and created a recovery program. Their structured and documented successes have paved the way for millions to accomplish sobriety.
For us, we needed tangibility. We needed to see with our own eyes that there was solid proof that there was a way out of the prison where we were serving a life sentence. We needed to believe that there was a solution to our addiction problem. And we needed to know first-hand the specifics behind others’ successes.
We had read it in books, and we heard second-hand accounts. However, that wasn’t enough for us as we wanted to be in the race with other runners, to learn from a dunker, to build like a millionaire, and to be cured like Bill Dotson.
We needed to believe.
One can believe in the possibilities if the truth is embraced. And the truth is that millions of people recover by following the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is proven.
The barrier has been broken for each of us.
So, run like Roger, train like Spud, work like John, and surrender like us.
“Believe that you will succeed, and you will.”
Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a sober.coffee podcast titled “#119 Glenn B Joins Mike and Glenn”....The podcast dropped on 7/05/2023. Click here to hear the podcast.
Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.