Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. (Alcoholics Anonymous, 1st. Edition,
How It Works, Page 58)(Emphasis added)
As we can see from the quote above, the anthropomorphism of alcoholism comes directly from The Big Book. For centuries man has debated the question of what alcoholism is or is not. Current American Medical Association dogma states that alcoholism is a disease.
1. endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice (http://www.ama-assn.org/resources/doc/alcohol/alcoholism_treatable.pdf, retrieved 12/24/11)
However, AA itself has never directly endorsed the idea that Alcoholism is a disease. In fact, as late as 1960, Bill Wilson stated,
We have never called alcoholism a disease because, technically speaking, it is not a disease entity For example, there is no such thing as heart disease. Instead there are many separate heart ailments, or combinations of them. It is something like that with alcoholism. Therefore we did not wish to get in wrong with the medical profession by pronouncing alcoholism a disease entity. Therefore we always called it an illness, or a malady—a far safer term for us to use.(Emphasis added). (National Clergy Conference on Alcoholism, Volume 12, P199, Retrieved from http://www.silkworth.net/religion_clergy/01052.html, 12/30/2011 at 7:55 AM) (Emphasis added)
Entity? Alcoholism is not a “disease entity”? What does that mean exactly? I understand that Bill W’s spoke these words an eternity ago in relation to current thinking on drug and alcohol addiction. By giving life to alcoholism, by referencing it as a cunning, baffling, powerful disease entity we give it an unnerving presence.
How many times have you heard an addict or alcoholic sharing their experience by mentioning that the disease had its claws into them or stole from them or wanted something from them, etc.? I am not sure it is healthy for us to refer to our disease in human or satanic terms.
By giving life to the disease, have we not disassociated our culpability for our actions and the resultant effects on our friends and loved ones? Is that wise? Is it morally or spiritually correct? I don’t pretend to know the answers to any of these questions. I have no clinical training and am trying to remember to take my inventory and leave you, dear reader, to your own.
I have never referred to my disease as being caused by anyone but me. No cunning, baffling disease entity made me do anything. Some of it is genetic (nature) and some of it environment (nurture). The nature vs. nurture argument has long been debated. I believe that we are products of both nature and nurture. But that’s it.
So, devil, get ye gone. I’ll have no part of you nor will you of me. I have faced the facts that I can’t use alcohol or drugs in safety and am man enough to know that it was me in every flawed aspect of myself that wanted and did what I did to me, my family and my friends. Now I have to live with it.
In Recovery Blog Facebook Page