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    “Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a Program of Recovery “

    They used the word “PROGRAM” for a reason.
    It means something taken as a whole. Complete.

    Within that program there are MUSTS.
    They used the word “must” for a reason, if I accept to work the PROGRAM then I MUST cross the T’s and fullfill the requirements to get the desired and promised results. I think theres 42 musts, some more strident than others, but some say I must or I will die.

    Bill was clever when he wrote, ‘this brings us to the next suggestion.’
    Then the rest of the chapter is musts.

    Some call it semantics but the Big Book is precisely written, a bit of a tongue twister to read because it has to be that way to prevent its meaning from being twisted.

    I know a lot of people say there are no musts , they are refering to the fellowship, not the program.



    Day 8

    Pointing the Finger

    “We cannot blame or change others. We can only change ourselves.” anonymous

    Perhaps one of the biggest stumbling blocks we see in recovery is the human tendency toward “elitism.” The person with an eating disorder looks with revulsion upon the alcoholic. The alcoholic sees the drug-dependent person as a lawbreaker, rationalizing that at least booze is legal. The drug-addicted person labels the sexual addict as immoral. The sexual addict brands the compulsive gambler as irresponsible for his or anyone else’s welfare. And the compulsive gambler is contemptuous of the disgusting lack of control in bulimics, anorexics or compulsive overeaters.

    The irony of such criticism is that each of us is really identifying one of our own problems. For example, people with eating disorders are revolted by their own behavior. Alcoholics who drive under the influence, know full well that they are breaking the law. People with drug dependencies defend their addiction because it’s been prescribed by doctors. Addicts on the street justify their compulsion by stating that at least they’re not perverts. At a deeper level, however, they are aware of their lack of morality. Sexual addicts can’t avoid the evidence that their addiction does affect others. And compulsive gamblers are powerlesss to control the obsession that leads them—and often their loved ones—-in financial disaster.

    The persistence of this self-deception and the elaborate denial system with which each person defends his own behavior is one of the most difficult to break down.

    Today’s Step: When I focus on my own recovery, I can take my eyes off of others who are working on theirs.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink



    Day 9

    A Higher Power in the US12 Step National Meetings

    “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” Albert Einstein.

    When people balk at what they consider the religious orthodoxy of terms like a “Power greater than themselves,” or “God,” or “God as you understand him,” or “Higher Power,” we are reminded of what happened when a group of recovering alcoholics went to the Soviet Union in 1986 to introduce A.A. into this supposedly atheistic country.

    They had no difficulty in gaining an audience with the Soviet Ministry of Health to whom they had already sent a copy of the Big Book. They were greeted warmly and told that in the Soviet Union the problem of alcoholism was very serious. Anything that could help alleviate the scourge of what Mr. Gorbachev had called the “green snake” would be welcome. Further, the A.A. group was assured the Soviets would have not problem with the term “Higher Power,” as they felt that individuals could interpret the term any way they saw fit. In fact, although the society is officially atheistic, many Soviet citizens are devoutly spiritual, and many more are confirmed believers.

    A.A. is now active in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, and numerous other Soviet cities. Some groups choose to consider the group itself their Higher Power. Others admit they do need help from some higher consciousness in order to recover. Still others believe in a Judeo-Christian God who acts in human affairs.

    Today I remind myself that the language of the heart is universal, and that when I reach out my hand in friendship there are many who are eager to take it.

    Today’s Step: My Higher Power is not limited by religious beliefs.

    Step by Step. Muriel Zink

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