Overcoming the Obsession

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; and nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude. -Thomas Jefferson

Today is Monday, and hence the Monday morning meeting I started.  We had a newcomer today who shared about his obsession to drink having him “by the throat.”  He is staying sober, but wonders when the obsession will leave.  This kind of raw honesty is the meat and potatoes of a good AA meeting (at least in my opinion), because it allows everyone to share their journey through obsessive thoughts, and what they did to work through them and come out on the other side.

Of course, there is no formula for dispelling the obsession to drink.  Each person’s recovery is unique.  In this morning’s meeting alone, one woman (28 years sober) said she struggled with the obsession to drink for a year and a half, another gentleman, almost 2 years sober, said the obsession to drink left him on the night he surrendered.  But there is one universal truth for everyone in recovery:  do not drink, under any and all conditions.  So when the obsession hits, you have a number of alternatives, but the only must is… don’t drink.  Period.  As long as you follow that one rule, sooner or later, things will become clear, and you will know how to proceed to live life happy, joyous and free.

I can say, with not just a little astonishment, that the obsession to alter myself chemically has been lifted, thank you God.  And what a miracle that is.  What I do struggle with are feelings that come up, unpleasant feelings, when I am faced with memories of the past.  When I drive somewhere I have not been in a while, and it brings up a painful memory of the last time I was there, and I was in active addiction.  Or I put on a piece of clothing I haven’t worn for a while, and I remember the last time I wore it was when I was actively using.  None of this makes me want to pick up a drink or drug, but it can be an almost visceral experience, and leaves me uncomfortable for a while.

The remedy for this ailment is reminding myself that it is just a feeling, that feelings are not facts, and that this too shall pass.  I ask God, in the moment, to remove it as soon as possible.  And, when I have the next possible opportunity, I share it with another person in recovery.  Most important, I have absolute faith that, in time, I will be relieved of these passing thoughts, since I have already been relieved of more overwhelming and destructive ones.

Today’s Miracle:

Leading a meeting where I witness recovery in real-time is a miracle that defies description, and I am humbled and grateful to be a part of the process.


Posted on March 4, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Beautiful and powerful post. You always lift me to higher ground. Yes, one universal truth … Thank you.


  2. Very well said…very well said (I had to say it twice!)

    I was sharing about this at a meeting tonight – about the mental obsession leaving me, and it happened in treatment when I prayed one night to God and told Him that I needed help and I would do anything to stop drinking and heard a voice quietly say “That’s all I need to hear, Paul”. and so it does happen in different ways to different people. It’s sometimes hard to remember what it was like back then ( I don’t have a whole ton of sober time!) and when I talk to newcomers, wow, it’s like I am back there again. That is why it’s important I work with others…I get a reminder of what it was like, and don’t give my alcoholism and ego a chance to rebuild.

    And what you say about those thoughts being fleeting and just passing…exactly! These things shall pass indeed. Faith has indeed bound us to a new perception and direction in our lives…and thank God we have been blessed to be of service, and to take this journey with others.

    Wonderful post.




  3. Thank you for sharing this.


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