The Big, Big Book states that “we shall not covet our neighbor’s wife or goods.” Alcoholic addicts are notorious for coveting what is not rightly ours. We shy away from work as a means to acquire goods and services. We view ourselves as better looking than our neighbor, so we deserve his wife, or so we think. We see that same neighbor get up and leave the house for work each day as we are slumped over the steering wheel in our car after a night of drinking. We wonder why we just can’t get a break.
During the progression of our disease we actually come to feel that we are entitled to what is not rightly ours! We think so much of ourselves that we wonder why other people don’t see things the same way as we do. Eventually it doesn’t matter to us what other people think. We just know that we are wonderful persons who deserve a new car without working for one. We are just so frickin wonderful that the world should be handed to us on a silver platter! Others should pay homage to our greatness!
In the throes of active addiction, we secretly know that this is not true. We know why we don’t have a new car. We can’t hold a job as it takes us away from our drinking and using. We may feel that we are bedeviled by our spouse or friends. We know they are right when they tell us that we need to do something about our drinking, such as to stop entirely. We come to a point where we cannot imagine a life with or without alcohol. Of course we must try and keep up appearances so no one knows our secret. The secret is that we are alcoholics and cannot manage our own lives. Once they find out that we know that we are alcoholic they may try and force us to do something about it.
Our boss (usually we do not have a job at this point) may threaten us with termination if we come to work smelling like alcohol again. Our spouse may throw us out of the house demanding that we do something about our drinking. We may be starting to have legal troubles and face criminal prosecution. We are probably bankrupt mentally, morally, spiritually and financially. And for most alcoholics who reach this point they still feel entitled to life on a silver platter. They may become quite moody and angry even when not drinking. We are delusional in our thinking.
It usually takes a serious bottom for an alcoholic to try and stop drinking. It may be a good idea here for the alcoholic to go through a medical detox. Usually, the body is sickened as the mind. Detox under the care of a physician and psychiatrist can be quite effective. The trick is to have a program of recovery to offer the newcomer once they complete the preliminary detox. The 12 Steps are usually quite helpful here for the alcoholic to regain some semblance of a life and sanity. There is a long road of reconstruction ahead for this person. By practicing the program and going to 12 Step meetings this task can be undertaken by almost anyone. And coveting what is not rightly ours can be stopped.