BIG BOOK DEATH THREATS:
It can be a useful exercise to go through the Big Book looking for where the Book tells us that we will drink unless we take (or refrain from) specific actions.
There are seven main areas of such ‘death threats.’ By the way, they are ‘death threats’ because, for us, to drink is to die.
The question is: have I been falling foul of these?
‘But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harbouring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.’ (p. 69)
(2) Harmful conduct
‘If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.’ (p. 70)
‘The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their house cleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock.’ (pp. 71, 72)
(4) Unmade amends
‘we will never get over drinking until we have done our utmost to straighten out the past. We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worthwhile can be accomplished until we do so’ (pp. 77, 78)
(5) Unfaced creditors
‘We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.’ (p. 78)
‘It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.’ (p. 85)
(7) Working with others
‘For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die.’ (pp. 14, 15)