I love to read. Always have. So my new addiction became the 12 Steps and recovery-related stuff. I read all kinds of recovery books – anything I could get my hands on. There was a lot to learn. Reading helped me understand what this new life in recovery was going to be all about.
Now I do have to admit that my thinking was really fuzzy in those early days of sobriety, and much of what I read (about myself) was a bit unclear. It still amazes me how, as a functional alcoholic, I was more than able to, well, function in my daily life so well. I performed my job as a contract analyst well and even excelled to a certain extent in my career. But thinking back, I realize just how much I was drinking and how sick I was in my alcoholism.
So why was it that when I read certain recovery books in those early days of sobriety that I had such a difficult time comprehending? I hear other recovering alcoholics say this same thing – that they, too, have this same fuzzy thinking and inability to read and understand recovery books.
I especially remember this as I read the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, written by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. It is one of the best recovery books ever, and in fact it was the first ever written about the 12 Steps.
It describes we alcoholics and our thinking and behaviors so well, yet it was very difficult for me to see myself in the pages of this book.
The problem? Denial. It’s an incredibly strong force to reckon with. We alcoholics simply cannot see ourselves from a realistic viewpoint. We often don’t understand what the fuss is about. We don’t think we are “that bad.” We can’t see ourselves the way others so obviously can.
So as we accumulate more and more of those precious days of sobriety, the fuzziness begins to wear off and our eyes are opened.
THAT’s when the words in some of these recovery books begin to make sense. At least this was my experience.
Reading books on alcoholism and recovery helped me so much to get out of denial and to begin the all-important task of working through the 12 Steps.
Now for the very best recovery book of all time: The Bible. In its pages, God sets out a plan for the recovery of his broken people. It is God’s love letter to us.
The Life Recovery Bible is written especially for those of us in recovery. It helps connect scripture to each of the 12 Steps and their application to our lives.