Hi Cogringo -
I'm glad you're figuring out your disease. It sounds like you got the same one as me. Sometimes I can "steam" a few folks by what I believe and say, but the book says that "God gave us brains to use" on page 86.
I'm not meaning to "couch" this comment in "religiosity either". I believe "God gave is brains" is in the context of having enough uninterrupted sobriety to discover that the 12 step recovery program is a "design for living that really works". In other words, working the steps and taking action to stay content while sober leads to a relationship with a "Higher Power" Who has been a concept in all our hearts from the get-go which the book says is like the "feeling we have for a friend".
I also was taught that "Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable." which you can find in "Appendix 2" in the book. Give it read if you dare to explore what "God-consciousness" means to some of us.
So there again, I had the "open-minded" part seared into my brain which is what I thought it was how it's supposed to be. So with a few years sober (11 years), working and living the 12-steps and spiritual principles, and being open-minded, guess what? What I sometimes say in discussions still gives a few insecure AA's the heebee-jeebee's!
I'm not a doctor or pyschologist or psychiatrist, but I know a whole bunch of them that I go to visit when I'm sick. I ask them all kinds of questions about all kinds of things which includes "recovery". I'm also not a "perfect AA", so I sometimes find myself involved with a few things, from time to time, that make a certain sober folks "cringe". So take what I'm saying lightly - that goes for everyone reading.
The book says alcoholics have a 3-prong "malady" that is physical, mental, and spiritual. The book also describes alcoholism as an "illness" having similar characteristics as an "allergy" (in case anybody missed it, "similar" means "pretty darn close but maybe not exactly alike").
The medical world and various US and state government health boards use printed "definitions" of alcoholism. Oddly enough, they are in agreement with the Big Book that alcoholics have that same a 3-prong "malady" that is physical, mental, and spiritual. It's also a widely-held belief that alcoholism is a "disease". I agree with that too, even though the book doesn't use the exact word "disease".
What is even more significant is that the medical world and various US and state government health boards AGREE that a 12-step program is necessary for prolonged recovery from alcoholism and addiction. That is just a simple fact. Sobriety and prolonged recovery from alcoholism and addiction can't be accomplished without a "group recovery support" system. In case anyone missed it, "group recovery support" and "12-step recovery program" are one in the same to the world of medical doctors and bureaucrats.
What a lot of "antsy AA's" don't like hearing discussed is the PHYSICAL "malady" and "disease concept". Like I said, I get a kick out of using the brain God gave me (I'm amazed the darn thing still works!), so I ask questions and "seek" answers. What I found out is something about that drug you mentioned called "Camprol".
From my reading which is from genuine books (not the internet), and also from interviewing my own medical professionals who are board certified medical doctors, I found out a few things about Camprol. It turns out that drug was designed to "speed up" the physical healing of brain cells that get damaged by alcohol. I thought that was pretty cool - why not?
There are devoted medical researchers that pour their hearts into trying to heal the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism. I'm open-minded enough to give these dedicated professionals their due. I give them credit for trying to make the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism and addiction a teensy bit more bearable.
There is a small handful of other similar drugs that were chemically designed and specifically engineered to make other aspects of the PHYSICAL malady of alcoholism and addiction a teensy bit more bearable. I also think that is cool, too.
I just think that anyone who devotes his or her career to finding a way to bring about healing that is faster or less painful, regardless of whatever part (knee, hip, arm, lungs, heart, tummy, and BRAIN, etc) that is physically healing - well they deserve my respect.
OK - are we angry yet? Have I clearly been misunderstood once more?
I want to make this clear. I BELIEVE with all my heart that AA is one of the best ways, if not the absolute best way of taking care of the SPIRITUAL malady of alcoholism. I've also even seen our spiritual program of action bring about healing to a great deal of the MENTAL malady of alcoholism.
But there are other INCREDIBLE researchers and clinical psychologists that have devoted their careers and lives to healing the MENTAL malady of alcoholism and addiction. There is one "celebrated" psychiatrist in particular, without whom, there would be no 12-step recovery program as we know it. He is so beautifully quoted in the "basic text" of our Big Book on page 27:
"Yes," replied the doctor, "there is. Exceptions to [hopeless] cases [of alcoholism] such as yours have been occurring since early times. Here and there, once in a while, alcoholics have had what are called vital spiritual experiences. To me, these occurrences are phenomena. They appear to be in the nature of huge emotional displacements and rearrangements. Ideas, emotions, and attitudes which were once the guiding forces of the lives of these men are suddenly cast to one side, and a completely new set of conceptions and motives begin to dominate them."
...as if that isn't breathtaking enough, the psychiatrist continues:
"In fact, I have been trying to produce some such emotional rearrangement within you. With many individuals, the methods which I employ are successful, but I have never been successful with an alcoholic of your description."
Friends, that is one of the most awesome and profound statements of a "non-alcoholic" medical doctor that I've ever had the blessed opportunity to actually be living proof of today. This psychiatrist split from "Freudian" psychology, and became the PIONEER of what has become ACCEPTED in the medical world as the "spiritual" aspect of psychology.
This non-alcoholic psychiatrist devoted his ENTIRE life to research, experimenting, and scientifically PROVING that SPIRITUALITY is an essential ingredient in recovery from the MENTAL malady of alcoholism, among other mental illnesses. His work is the foundation of the 12th step, and of our AA program of recovery. It's also the basis of appendix 2.
That gives insecure AA's the heebee-jeebees because Carl Jung's published work is not "psycho-babble". It is FACT, and the foundation of seeking and finding spirituality in the form of "God as we understand Him". I guess insecure AA's are afraid of "losing AA" to the medical world?
Not me. How can I be anything other than grateful that the God of my understanding inspired a gifted and intelligent young man, without even having the illness of alcoholism, to devote his entire life to bringing about the process of healing the SPIRITUAL and MENTAL maladies of alcoholism.
For this alcoholic, the work of Carl Jung is nothing less than a miracle. Think about it, the concept of "Acceptance" for example, resulted from Carl Jung's work with alcoholics.
Once again, for me, the spiritual program of recovery known as the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is essential for long-term sobriety.