“Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” – The Big Book, Chapter 5: How It Works.
If you don’t already watch “Breaking Bad,” do. I have little doubt it will be recognized as one of the greatest programs in television history.
Any half measures I took in accordance with sorting out my substance abuse and/or depression were really more like quarter measures. The core concept comes down to acceptance or denial. There is no in between here – you either fully accept your condition, or you are still in denial. Trying to control specific parameters of drinking or using are ultimately just half measures. Abstinence is the only true form of acceptance.
Alcoholics will attempt an infinite number tactics to get a handle on their drinking, so to speak. Switching from liquor to beer, only drinking in the evenings, only drinking on the weekend, budgeting a predetermined number of drinks, so on and so forth. Sadly, it does not work that way. The fact is that there is no tangible control to be had over this disease; any instances of “success” via control are merely misconceptions wrought of still-smoldering denial.
The second part of the quote above notes that “we asked His protection and care with complete abandon.” For me, this means turning my life over to the powers at play in the universe. Everything that’s gone wrong, happened for a reason. Whatever will be, will be (que sera, sera). Without struggle, there is no progress. Accept what you cannot change. So it goes.
Wax Tailor does some of the most incredible sampling work I’ve heard.
This is not to say that I have rolled over and allowed myself to be passive and helpless, with regard to the hardships that naturally occur in life. It is a careful balance of being proactive & determined, and calm & collected. For example, my back injury. It would be easy for me to become upset about my weakened condition, cursing and stomping my feet (figuratively; to do so in a literal sense would be immensely painful).
Instead, I accept it for what it is – a sign to slow down. My body is not yet ready to be on that level of physical exertion (though my spirit is more than willing). It is frustrating and inconvenient, because it adds weeks if not months to my projected timetable for getting myself into proper shape. What I will do instead of moping about is focus on meditation and breathing exercises – equally beneficial.
Half measures: attempting to control my usage; convincing myself my problem with alcohol is not serious enough to warrant treatment.
Full measures: taking a vow of abstinence from alcohol; accepting my life for what it is; moving through life with clarity and purpose.
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