It was not until many years in my recovery that I began to understand even the simplest truth about self-esteem and I began to see myself as a worthy person. In my life for, meanwhile, and for a few years after active alcohol and drugs, I had no understanding of course & # 39; self & # 39; or "worth," and then I had little understanding of the boundaries.
Even years of recovery, my perception of self-esteem was entirely based on external factors – the recognition of others, working hard and playing hard. My sense of self-esteem was fully dependent when others liked me and / or gave me recognition for doing what I thought they wanted me to get their consent. Therefore, I did not really know who I was at my core – true my self. During this time of my life, I would have pushed over crushed glass for this external recognition. I was happy people, a little bit of fraud, and much of the time I did not even know. This was like cunning, baffling and powerful like alcohol and drugs. In recent years, my life was really "troubled, irritated, and unhappy." I wanted to belong a, to be accepted and to be loved and grateful.
Today, life has come true for me. "I live most of my days" happy, happy and free "- exactly the opposite of how I expected. Today, I understand, respect and honor the boundaries of others, like myself. This transformation was the result of consciously working toward applying spiritual principles in my life.
I learned in my professional life working with addicts, but I learned deeply to respect the wisdom of the original literature and the routine of the 12 stages and the recognition of alcohol as both illness and mental or moral problems. The writers knew from personal experience that the illness of chemical addiction is a mental disease that requires complete withdrawal from alcohol and drugs and mental recovery. In his writings was referred to the need to establish an integrated collection of spiritual principals in the daily life of addicts.
Deflation of ego was necessary – not elimination, but deflation of destructive, needy self-addict. This process of giving up and releasing a voluntary license to accept a power that is greater than itself and the creation of feelings of self-esteem. This is done by working on self as honesty, faith, courage and integrity to heal the spirit of man.
These mental principles are so important for addictions & # 39; Full recovery, as Bill Wilson, one of two founders of the Alcoholics Association, refers to them many times in his various publications. On page 42, in Chapter Three, entitled "More on Alcoholism", basically AA, often called Big Book, Bill says: "It's really important was the discovery that spiritual principals would solve all my problems."
Why did Bill call this mental principal and do not refer to them as "virtues or values" as the world does? I believe he fully understood that their shortage, common to all alcoholics, harms the presence of the spirit within. Addiction is the only progressive, dynamic, irreversible and final illness that has this ability to adversely affect the human spirit. So Bill called the spiritual principles for him, knowing that full recovery was not possible without creating or restoring these virtues and values in the life of the addict, as well as all their family members. Without it, there is no deeper sense of self-esteem, submission, acceptance, and healing of the Spirit. In fact, I think this is one of the most important insights into effective treatment of all alcohol and drugs.
Over the years, I have done my best to incorporate the spiritual principles of my daily life, and I describe the move in my book, "A Act of Surrender." Even with 38 years of recovery, I continue to work with spiritual heads consciously, perhaps more now than ever before, because I have come to appreciate the great value of the exercise. As I've learned to honor and respect myself, my life really has become a happy, merry and free!