- July 11, 2023

According to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, (page 62 starting at the first full paragraph) selfishness and self-centeredness are the root of our problem with alcohol and drugs. It also states that we are driven by a “hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity. These things cause us to have trouble with others. Invariably we find in the past something that we said or did that caused the other person to become angry with us. When we confront the person in making our amends, they may express this anger to us and what we did to cause it.
This program is not about “me.” It is about setting right mistakes we made in the past, correcting them and not repeating them again. This is usually done in Step 9. Page 62 also states that “above everything, we must be rid of this selfishness.” The reason why is that if we do not overcome this selfishness, we may not be able to stay sober. A good dose of self-pity can take us out quicker than you can say “but, but, but,” We cannot reduce our selfishness by ourselves.
We need the help of the 12 Steps, our sponsor and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous in order to alleviate this type of selfishness. This is we program, not a me program. We need the help of a closed mouth friend to guide us through the steps. This person may be our sponsor. If religiously inclines one may seek out the help of a pastor or priest. The bottom line is that we need to share our fears, delusions, self-pity and self-seeking with another human being.
We may find it hard to realize we must share some negative truths about ourselves. But this is once again necessary to gain and maintain our sobriety. Usually, the person we choose to hear our story will be honored to do so. In the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous this closed mouth friend, may have quite a lot of experience in hearing the defects of character which are presented to them. They are able to see and point out the root causes of our inability to live a life which does not include thee types of selfishness. Also, they are able to offer suggestions to us on living a life which puts the needs of others first. This does not mean that we drop all our personal duties. We simply make better use of our time now that we are living on an altruistic plane instead of an it’s all about me life.
This new way of living can be very rewarding. To be able to help someone achieve sobriety is very gratifying to watch. And to realize that you have been a party to this person’s recovery is an understatement.

Written by Phillip