My first sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous was the initial person to ever discuss with me the bedevilments of addiction. She explained that they were the things that plagued most of those who had suffered from addictions such as myself. Then she pointed out in the chapter titled “We Agnostics” of the Big Book the ones that were the most common. And surprisingly for something that was written well over six decades ago, I was able to see myself in all eight of them.
1. We were having trouble with our personal relationships.
I ran off more friends and intimate relationships during all the years my addictions had the best of me. And for those individuals who somehow stuck around, I constantly argued with each of them.
2. We couldn’t control our emotional natures.
My emotional state was much like a roller coaster during all the years my addictions had the best of me. My mood changed much like the weather and although I might have been happy in a given moment, it didn’t take much for me to become angry, weepy, or full of rage.
3. We were a prey to misery and depression.
I lived in self-pity, doom, and gloom during all the years my addictions had the best of me. In fact, I knew of no other way to exist so much that it led me to be completely dependent on medications to balance me out.
4. We couldn’t make a living.
I left many jobs because I didn’t like authority, control, or anyone telling me what to do. I also got fired from a bunch of them as well for similar reasons. In either case, I frequently copped resentments with my bosses or peers, always believing it were their entire fault and never mine.
5. We had a feeling of uselessness.
Given that I grew up in an alcoholic home where I felt more worthless than not, living an addiction-based life only enhanced this feeling that began in my childhood. I also often felt life was meaningless because I never applied myself and the only thing I was ever concerned about was getting my fix from whatever the addiction I was doing and no one else.
6. We were full of fear.
My entire life was based on fear almost 100 percent of the time my disease had the best of me. I was constantly worried about everyone and everything and usually felt this impending sense of doom.
7. We were unhappy.
Rarely did I ever smile, laugh, or be happy during my addiction-prone years unless I was actively engaging in my addiction and getting exactly what I wanted out of it. But during all the moments I was crashing from my disease or chasing it again, I was utterly miserable.
8. We couldn’t seem to be of real help to other people.
I was so selfish and self-centered during my active addiction-based years that I could have cared less about anyone else that could have benefitted from my help. I wasn’t able to ever help myself, unless it was to pursue my addictions, thus it never mattered to me when people asked for my help.
I’m sure there are plenty more bedevilments that plague addicts like me, but I definitely find it interesting that I could relate to all of the ones Bill Wilson wrote so long ago.
Thankfully, working the 12 Steps brought me to a spiritual solution for all of these bedevilments. Now I’m no longer plagued by any of them because I live in this solution each and every day of my life. I’m just so grateful to be free now from the bedevilments of addiction, and I give all that credit to my Higher Power who I know guided me there…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson