The Problem is Two-Fold in Nature

grand coteauPage 355 in the AA Big Book

The explanation that alcoholism was a disease of a two-fold nature, an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind, cleared up a number of puzzling questions for me.  The allergy we could do nothing about.  Somehow our bodies had reached the point where we could no longer absorb alcohol in our systems.  The why is not important; the fact is that one drink will set up a reaction in our systems that requires more, that one drink is too much and a hundred are not enough.

The obsession of the mind was a little harder to understand, and yet everyone has obsessions of various kinds.  The alcoholic has them to an exaggerated degree.  Over a period of time he has built up self-pity and resentments toward anyone or anything that interferes with his drinking.  Dishonest thinking, prejudice, ego, antagonism toward anyone and everyone who dares to cross him, vanity, and a critical attitude are character defects that gradually creep in and become part of his life.  Living with fear and tension inevitably results in wanting to ease that tension, which alcohol seems to do temporarily.

The 12 Steps of AA were designed to help correct these defects of character and so help remove the obsession to drink.  The 12 Steps, which to me are a spiritual way of living, soon meant honest thinking, not wishful thinking; open mindedness, a willingness to try and a faith to accept.  They meant patience, tolerance and humility and above all the belief that a Power greater than myself could help.  That power I chose to call God.
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