Restless, Irritable, and Discontent

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Good morning, Derek Stone here with big book wizard and we’ve got a great big book study for you today, continuing on with the doctor’s opinion last week. Before we jump in the last week’s review just a quick disclaimer, I am a life coach interventionist and speaker, and man in recovery and I do not claim membership and affiliation with representation of any organization, facility, group, 12-step or otherwise all references Alcoholics Anonymous are made in reference to this book that shares its name and not to be construed with any other organization. My videos, live big book studies and online meetings are for educational purposes only, and are not to be construed as professional advice, nor should they replace any professional treatment which may prove necessary for you including detox, rehabilitation, rehab, treatment, outpatient care, counseling, therapy, medication, meeting attendance, sponsorship, 12-step work etcetera.

Okay, this week we’re going to be continuing with the doctor’s opinion and last week we talked about how frothy emotional appeal doesn’t work for the real alcoholic, and examples of frothy emotional appeal are actually found on page 20. I can take it or leave it alone, why can’t he, why can’t you, why don’t you drink like a gentleman, or a normal person or quit, that fellow can’t handle his liquor, why don’t you try beer or wine lay off the hard stuff or your willpower must be weak. I could stop if I want to I just don’t want to, or you could stop if you want to you just don’t want to, she’s such a sweet girl or guy I think they’d stop for their sake, I think you would stop for their sake, the doctor said if you ever drank again it would kill you but there you are all lit up again, that’s also known as the you’re going to die if you don’t do something threat.

And all of these are examples a frothy emotional appeal, because they appeal to an alcoholic in terms of quitting drinking because of a sufficient reason to do so. Now we know that there’s a class of person who’s incapable of doing this described on page 21 as the real alcoholic, they differ from the hard drinker because for a hard drinker all of these reasons here that’s supposed to be a circle, that looks terrible I’m not going to draw on the page anymore. All of these reasons here would be sufficient for a hard drinker and they’re not for real alcoholic, you can compare and contrast this also with page 31, but they have a list of here are the methods we tried and they list a bunch of stuff that is also an attempt at the level of frothy emotional appeal.

Which is why in the review or last week the doctor says the message which pulls these real alcoholics must have depth and weight, meaning that it’s a deep message, it’s the type of thing that when you hear it you go man that’s deep, it hits you in your soul and it’s a catalyst for genuine change. Dr. SilkWorth has spent much of his life searching for a solution for alcoholism, we see that in the pages and he’s welcoming with open arms this movement, this altruistic movement as he calls it. He also makes the claim that nothing will help these alcoholics more than the 12-step movement growing up among them, there is a little bit of a typo that should be at 12. Anyway, we are going to be continuing on with the doctor’s opinion if you’re in the fourth edition of this blue book, it’s going to be XVIII I believe, no XXVIII, it’s going to be XXVIII in the doctor’s opinion.

While you’re looking for that page I’m going to go ahead and give a shout out to all my supporters on Patreon, if you haven’t supported on Patreon yet I’d love to see your name on this list, if your name is on this list you are very near and dear to my heart, and I thank you for chipping in about a buck a week to keep these videos going. Okay on XXVIII we have a paragraph, I’ll read it in its entirety and then we’ll break down each line because there’s a lot going on here. It says men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol, the sensation is so elusive that while they admit it as injurious; they cannot after a time differentiate the truth and the false.

To them their alcoholic life seems the only normal one, they are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks, drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops they pass through the well-known stages of spree emerging remorseful with a harm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery. Okay, so first thing to notice is first sentence kicks us off by talking about men and women who drink, now that’s not limited to real alcoholics, anyone who drinks essentially does it because they like the effect produced by alcohol.

Now what is that effect? Well I am going to tell you that the effect at a very basic level is changing the way you feel, and everybody drinks alcohol for this reason. I’m not alcoholic because I drink to change the way I feel, that’s why they make the stuff, that’s about all alcohol is good for that and sterilizing medical equipment. Even someone who’s drinking at a very young age for the very first time simply to succumb to peer pressure, is doing so to change the way they feel, giving in to peer pressure change the way they feel, they feel accepted. And so alcohol is always drank for this reason, to change the way that we feel, we like that effect.

Now the sensation is so elusive it’s sneaky and escapes us, that while they admit it as injurious, okay so this is the next level of drinker, this isn’t just the moderate drinker like we were talking about a few weeks ago, this delves into like hard drinker, problem drinker, real alcoholic because those are the only people that are admitting alcohol is injurious, it’s not injurious for everybody who drinks it’s just injurious for a specific segment of drinkers. So while we’re admitting it’s injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate true from false, now this is not referring to blanket delusion. It’s easy to get the impression that when the doctor says we cannot differentiate true from false, that he’s making an observation about how we have delusional thinking in every area of our life, it’s not what he’s saying.

It’s easy to think that because later on we do some inventory work don’t we, and we look at resentments and we look at what’s my part in the resentment, what mistakes did I make, and how’s my delusional thinking influencing this, and how could I just adopt a new attitude and take a different perspective, and alcoholism is essentially a perception problem and all these other things we say, and so it’s easy to get the impression that what the doctor is talking about here is that perception issue. That I don’t see issues clearly, and that’s what he’s describing here but it’s not, he is describing very specifically in terms of diagnosing alcoholism, very specifically we are talking about while I admit alcohol is injurious, in other words while I’ve admitted I’ve got reasons to quit.

So this isn’t the individual who is at what we in treatment would call pre-contemplation, this is the individual who has already determined yes my drinking is causing me problems and I want to quit. Okay, now anyone can have that epiphany, anyone can have that realization, a hard drinker is going to be able to quit based on that reason, a real alcoholic isn’t. So while he admitted it’s injurious after a time, I cannot differentiate that admission with some insanely trivial excuse to drink, in other words I’ve got every reason in the world not to drink on this hand here, and yet I can’t differentiate all those sound reasons with some insanely trivial excuse to drink. And they describe this beautifully on page 37, I don’t have a slide for it we’re not going to turn there, but read that on your own time on page 37.

They talk about this compare and contrast of like yes, I’m holding this idea right here and then parallel to it is this insanely trivial reason to drink, and what the doctor is describing is after a time, after I’ve admitted drinking is injurious and I want to quit, after a time I can’t differentiate those two. Every reason in the world I have not to drink looks just as appealing and inviting as every reason in the world but I have to drink, they both look equal. I can’t have one idea renting it over the other; it’s like the angel and the devil arguing on each shoulder, that’s where the conflict comes in.

And so look what he says, he says to them their alcoholic life seems the only normal one, in other words I’ve quit drinking for a time and that voice starts whispering hey you don’t feel normal, why aren’t you drinking and for a while I can answer it with wife, car, kids, job, career, business, house, I’m on probation whatever all the reasons are enough for not drinking and then that voice just comes back real quietly yes but you don’t feel normal, you know the only way for you to feel normal is to take a drink. And for a while that’s not important, you know it’s way down here on the importance level all these reasons I have for not drinking are way up here, but then eventually at some point I can’t differentiate the two, they all look really equally valid and true.

After this happens, it says they are restless, irritable and discontented unless they can again experience a sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks. Now notice the order that this goes in, first I’ve admitted drinking is injurious and I’ve made an attempt to do something about it, then I reach a point where all my reasons for why I decided to quit in the first place have gone out the window and I can’t really fathom why I’m not drinking right now, and every reason to drink looks just as valid as every reason not to drink and as a result of that I’m restless, irritable, discontent until I can solve it with a few drinks.

Now notice we’re not talking about getting, excuse my language, but getting shit-faced, we’re not talking about that, we’re not talking about getting obliterated that’s not what I’m thinking about here, all I’m thinking about is man this is going to feel good for five minutes, and if I can just feel good for five minutes all these reasons over here, all these problems that I know the drink is going to cause, if I can just get on the other side of these feelings for five minutes I’ll fix all the damage this is going to cause on the back end. It’ll be worth it if I can just feel better for five or ten minutes, and I’ll fix everything this causes on the back end, I’ll get to it and fix it. Problem is once I satisfy that desire to feel better for five minutes the brain is done, the brain is handed the baton to the body, the mental obsession has handed the baton to the physical allergy and we’re off to the races.

Drinks which they see others taking with impunity, impunity meaning nothing bad is happening to these people, and what we mean is we see other people taking a couple drinks to ease their nerves and it’s not triggering a phenomenon of craving, it’s not triggering them going off to the races, but it’s triggering that in us. Then it goes on to say, after they have succumbed to the desire again meaning relapsed as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of spree, emerging remorseful with a firm resolution not to drink again.

My sponsor puts this beautifully, he describes this as when I’m in my drinking, when I’m in my addiction, it’s like being inside an oven and it’s nice and warm and toasty, but then after a while it gets really hot and then after a while it gets even unbearably hot, and then after even longer I’m dying and I’m banging on that oven door and on the other side of the oven is a freezer, and I’m banging on that oven door yelling let me into that freezer. And when they finally let me into that freezer that’s recovery or that’s abstinence I should say, and I’m going to meetings and I’m the boy whistling in the dark that they talk about in a vision for you, and I’m talking about how great it is to be sober and I don’t know what you guys will complain about in here this freezer is nice and cool, I like it.

And then after a while it gets a little chilly, and then after a while after that it gets even freezing, and then after a while after that it’s unbearably cold and I’m dying, and I’m banging on that freezer door and let me out of here I want back into the oven. People in the oven are saying you don’t want no parts of this this is hot, you don’t want me in here and I say I do want in there, and finally I burst my way through and I’m back and I’m drinking, I’m with the old gang again. And that’s nice and manageable for a little while, and then it starts to get warm, and then it starts to get hot, and then it starts to get uncomfortably hot, and then it starts to get unbearably hot, before I know it I’m banging on that oven door saying let me out of here I went back in the freezer.

And then I’m back sober again, and back in the rooms, I’m picking up a one day chip and I’m not drinking I should say, and I’m talking about how great it is to be sober, this is the Spree and remorse he’s talking about. He’s talking about this spree and remorse in the context of someone who’s already decided to do something about their drinking, now this doesn’t have to involve a stay in treatment, this can involve in a moment of lucidity I’ve decided I’m going to quit drinking and that lasts a day, and it’s such a short-lived thing that I don’t even tell anybody I decided to quit drinking.

And so when we’re first stepping people and we’re talking about the stuff and often they’ll say well I’ve never attempted to quit before, well you’ve never made a serious college try, but you’ve woken up one morning after a hangover and said god, I’m never doing this again or I’m going to chill out for a month or I’d better just stop for a week and dry out, and within an hour of that decision you’re drinking again, that’s what he’s talking about here, it applies. Okay, so he goes this is repeated over and over again and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery, entire psychic change. There’s a word, psychic change, now I don’t have a slide created for this, but I’ll create a slide next week that demonstrates what he’s talking about here with this psychic change.

Suffice to say that right now what this means is a change at the core level of my being, this is a type of change that I can’t make on my own. I can change my hair color, I can change my hairstyle, I can change my eye color, I can change the way I dress, I can change the music I listen to, what I eat and who I hang around with, I can make a lot of changes, but after all those changes are said and done there’s a core part of me that stays me, that’s the part of me that needs to change. In fact, I would offer that step one really at its deepest level is the declaration to the universe that I acknowledge, that the part of me that needs to change is the part of me that I can’t change, and I have a little slide that I’ll create next week and we can go into that a little more deeply.

So before we end this video, I want to just finish this illustration, I made this slide a couple of weeks ago when we were talking about the physical allergy and on this page that we’re on, that first indented paragraph that says we believe, if you want to write physical allergy or condition of body next to the house, and then down at the bottom of the paragraph we read today that says men and women drink, if you want to write mental obsession or condition of mind. And when you compare and contrast these next to each other, and I do a step one presentation and I just bought a MacBook and I’m playing around with that, I’m going to learn how to make professional-looking videos and I’m going to do all 12 steps and put this out here for you. So this slide will be in there and will go more in depth into where I get all this information from, but for right now when you look at this skeleton next to each other, you know the physical allergy refers to everything that happens after that first drink, it’s also called a phenomenon of craving down here.

It’s a manifestation of an allergy which isn’t 100% accurate as medical truth, but it is a pretty decent analogy and so we’re sticking with it. The mental obsession over here is everything that happens before the first drink, it’s a form of insanity and they refer to it on 37 as a curious mental phenomenon, so both of these the physical and the mental are phenomena, meaning we can observe it but we can’t quite explain it. The physical allergy means I have no control over the amount of my drinking once I’ve started drink; I’ve no clue how long this roller coaster ride is going to last, and the mental obsession guarantees that I have no clue when the ride will start. No control over when the ride starts and no control over when it last, that’s pretty powerless.

Physical allergy tells me that one drink yields a consequence which is this phenomenon of craving, it’s not DUI’s and blackouts and health complications and money and family and all of that, although those things come with excessive drinking, but the consequence of the first drink for the real alcoholic is that I have no ability to determine whether or not this drink is going to lead to excessive drinking. The mental obsession says it’s zero drinks equals a consequence, already we’re starting to see a problem aren’t we? If I’ve got both of these conditions, well I can’t take a drink without experiencing the consequence and I can’t not take a drink without experiencing consequences, that’s pretty difficult isn’t it.

The condition of the physical allergy is described on page 21 and a test is offered on page 31 which is controlled drinking, the condition of the mental obsession is described on page 24 and a test for the mental obsession is awkward on page 34 controlled abstinence. Our solution if we just have the physical allergy is to take zero drinks; the solution if we just have the mental obsession is to take one drink. Do you see why SilkWorth is calling this hopeless? This man of science looks at this equation and says there’s nothing, no human power that can crack this open. The solution for this problem takes zero drinks, aggravates this problem, and become restless, irritable, discontent. The solution for this problem take one drink aggravates this problem, where I trigger the phenomenon of craving. And so it takes both of these to create powerlessness, because if I had the ability to take zero drinks and nothing bad happened, the physical allergy would be manageable.

If I had the ability to take one drink and nothing bad happened, the mental obsession would be manageable, you couple those things together and they combine in a way that makes everything unmanageable. So that’s about it for this week, if you’re interested in winning one of these study edition big books, these things are amazing, hardcover, they’ve got dictionary definitions you know word and subject index, blank pages for lines, they’ve got a whole video that explains the benefits of owning this thing. I’m giving one away this month completely for free I even pay for shipping, I sent one out last month to Gaby Cooney of Austin Texas if you’re watching thanks for entering, and I hope you’re making good use of this book.

And I’d like to send one to you this month if you join the contest Bigbookwizard.net/enter there’s a link in the description. So if you want to support me on Patreon you’ll get one of these awesome bookmarks, $5 a month that’s a buck a week, it’s the equivalent of a dollar in the basket. They’ve got the nine step promises on the front, and then all the other promises on the back, I’ll send you one of those in the mail with a nice little handwritten letter that says thank you. If you want to connect on social media there’s all my information there, I’m happy to do that as well. And that’s really all I’ve got for this week, tune in next week and I’ll have that slide about the psychic change and what all that means, and what all that entails and until then I look forward to seeing you, and God bless.

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