What makes me powerless is -- the insanity. (The part of the problem that centers in the mind)
Steps 1-9, the obsession & compulsion get removed.
At Step 10, our book indicates that sanity has been restored
and we react sanely and normally.
Steps 10-12, and 1, daily keep me sane and remind me that I'm still alcoholic
which means I can't drink.
I go to meetings to be of service -- to try to find an alcoholic that I can be helpful to.
Trying to help another alcoholic (last part of Step 12), according the the first paragraph in Chapter 7, helps me stay sober.
I also do that as a sense of duty & responsibility -- to try and pay back what was freely given to me, by those that came before me -- who kept the meetings alive -- until I could get there. They also nurtured me, and helped me detox, and showed me how to stay sober and live sober.
I don't go to meetings to keep me sober. My personal experience has already proved to me -- that going to meetings will not keep me sober -- nor get me sober.
Am I still Powerless? You bethca!
Do I have a choice to drink? I don't believe God would keep me from drinking -- if I make up my mind to drink.
One of the newcomers that I sometimes hang out with -- used to be an oldtimer. He's really struggling. He told me on the day that he started drinking again that he knew he was going to drink. He even told God he was going to drink and he knew that God wouldn't stop him. This guy used to be very religious -- before he started drinking again.
Do I have a choice to drink? Sure I do. But, I don't need to exercise "my choice to drink." All I've got to do is stop doing what I'm doing now that keeps me sane and sober -- and I'll automatically drink again. I'm still an alcohol-magnet. I either continue to take the actions that lead me and attract me to sobriety -- or I'm automatically attracted back to alcohol.
It's written in our history, that Bill Wilson, used to put a bottle of whiskey on the fire place mantle at Dr. Bob's house, while he was staying with Dr. Bob & Anne. Bill was pretty cocky about it -- because he actually believed at that time, (a little more than six months sober) that he had been cured. The bottle of whiskey on the mantle was his way of "showing off" at how powerful he thought "God working in him & Dr. Bob, was." Anne used to get ticked off about the bottle. (Hadn't Bill stood in the Mayflower lobby, just a few weeks earlier -- desperately trying to find an alcoholic to help -- because he was shaky and knew that he was going to drink?) LOL. Kind of indicates a "manic" type of thinking, aye?
Over the last 25 years, I've known several of the deeply religious types that told me "God keeps them sober." Unfortunately, only a few of them are left remaining. Evidently, God did not decide to keep the other ones sober.
I think that maybe each person, has to answer these questions for themselves. Whatever they are comfortable with seems to be what's important to them at the time. I figure, that their sobriety is theirs -- and mine is mine. What they do or believe is really none of my business. And, it's not my job to convince them one way or another. I've kind of made up my mind that I'm going to do and believe whatever I think is going to keep ME sober.
Great questions! I'm glad you asked them. Because, myself -- and I know for sure, that many others -- have had these same questions come to mind. Hopefully, our discussing it -- will help them to find their own answers. And, hopefully, their answers will be good enough to keep them sober.