From the Daily Reflections of December 19;
When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 139).
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
I dislike the phrase “but for the grace of God, there go I.” It implies to me that in spite of the grace of God, there goes he or she. It does not give me a sense of gratitude to witness others marching forward to their inevitably tragic end. Too often I have been that creature that is aptly described as weak, stupid, and irresponsible. Sometimes I suffer survivor’s remorse when I see others fall and I am still standing. There is an unnerving randomness to this recovery. At least it appears that way in the beginning.
That one thing that seems to separate me as a survivor from them as casualties is the ability to have a selfishness that pushes me to connect with others. My counselor prefers to call it self care, but it is more aggressive than my isolated selfishness, not less. It is not gentle. I strive for serenity. I have chest pounding confidence in humility. And when others fall, I must simply honor their surrender and let them go because I cannot teach others to snarl at death. This program is not for those who need it, but for those who want it. And this seems to excite the God of my understanding.
“Listen, and understand! The Disease is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. . . Come with me, if you want to live.” ~ paraphrase of the words of Kyle Reese in the 1984 Terminator.