Thursday, 28 June 2018

My Step 4

Core defects – common threads (Step 4) 27/6/18

"Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves".  How instincts can exceed their proper function and cause dis-ease, and me to drink.  It's a spiritual disease, not a medical one, requiring a spiritual solution.

This is the Albert way – ‘got to give it up and embrace true self’.  (It’s all one thing, like ice, water, gas /steam).  We aren’t two things.  There is no third way.  Do I want to be an expression of Albertism – or a higher consciousness?


This was the greatest promise of all to me.  I didn’t need to go searching for spiritual emancipation from alcoholism, it was already there in me!   All I needed was to exfoliate my defects of character which obscured it (and made me drink by disconnecting and discomforting me, causing alcoholism).  These all came from my ego, principally defiant individuality – ‘excessive individuation’ (the chief cause of suicide to Durkheim, along with societal anomie).  I needed to know what these were (Pride, Jealousy and rancour, neurotic self-pity / ‘pride in reverse’, controlling relationships with females, OCD – particularly health – rampant self-centredness / not listening). This was Step 4 of the 12 Step programme. This was a rigorous examination of the motives that lay behind my behaviour in life.  Unlike Freud / CBT / will-power / rational approaches to alcoholism, the conscious Ego CANNOT be used to fix the problem, because it is the problem.

Pride led the procession of defects.  My ego constructed an image of what I should be, which was grandiose, and that was the start of my problems.  I have come to believe that when I am disturbed, usually any one or more of my defects are in play.  All I can do is seek to fix these, not others.  Others may be to blame, but I am as powerless over their behaviour as I am the bottle.  All I can do is pray for them.  My problems are rooted inside me (spiritual), they are not external (material).   These are the true causes of my alcoholism:

1) MY SELF-IMAGE – ‘PRIDE LEADS THE PROCESSION’ - The feeling that I haven’t got as far in life as I could – I’VE FALLEN SHORT AND MISSED OUT.  ON FAMILY, WEALTH, FAME AND ENJOYMENT.  I was Self-centred, fearful, prideful, greedy, vain.  Perfectionist, Lazy, impatient, dishonest. Grandiose.  I lacked humility. Superior. Been playing the board-game ‘Game of Life’ (Success measured by how far ego will take you in material gain).  But well equipped to play the spiritual version now, as broken.  Far harder for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Gratitude.

The flip of this is patience, living in the moment and humility / perspective.

2) CONSEQUENCE 1 - OF FEELING INADEQUATE - People who have succeeded.  Jealousy, bitterness.  Hate self-righteous.  Particularly those who seek to control me on the back of it.

3) CONSEQUENCE 2 - Self-pitying, terminal uniqueness, fatalism, romance, tragedy, maximising amounts and illness, neurotic.   Was fearful.  Self-centred.  Loss of identity.  Maudlin form of martyrdom.  This is ‘Pride in Reverse’ (Bill W.)

4) CONSEQUENCE 3 - Inventing personas / masks - didn't think you would like me otherwise.  Unauthentic.  Dishonest to myself and others.  Too hard on myself.

5)CONSEQUENCE 4 - Women who seek control.  Fear of commitment.  Self-centred.  Insist others are perfect (tarty). Domination / Controlling and lust.  Unfaithful. Intolerant. Not prepared to give up self-control.

6) CONSEQUENCE 5 – OCD, particularly health.  Controlling - Perfectionism, avoiding / dishonesty. Fear (takes me out of the moment).

7) CONSEQUENCE 6 - Will hurt anyone in the way of my self-will.  Rampant self-centredness.  Don’t listen.  Indestructability – playmates and playpen.  Spiritual concepts.  Irresponsible.  Co-dependent.  Power mad.

All this leads to detachment and discomfort – isolation – fear – loneliness AND drink and drugs / addictive behaviours – eating, sex, gambling, social media.

Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps guide book
Next: Step5.

More on spiritual recovery from alcoholism here: