Cunning, baffling and powerful is a description of the disease of alcoholism according to Alcoholics Anonymous. It is cunning because the disease can stay in the background patiently. We can be living a sober life and then one day the thought of a drink comes in our head and off we go. It has happened to me several times. I was sober, going to Alcoholics Anonymous, having many sober, loving friends who gave me lots of support. I woke up everyday grateful to be alive and looking forward to the day. The next thing I new I was popping a pill or taking a drink. My disease was patiently waiting for the weak moment.
Baffling is a perfect description of how I felt when I went back to drinking and taking drugs again. I had willingly given up a sober, happy life. I was very baffled by it. It left me shaking my head amazed that once again my disease had gotten me.
Powerful is an understatement. I am at a loss for words as I try to describe just how much power my disease has over me. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that part of the problem may lie in our self-centeredness, our self pity and self-seeking. The Big Book claims that our “self-will has run riot.” Emotions can be up and down for the alcoholic. My emotions can make me crazy as I selfishly struggle to always get what I want or need. Many alcoholics live by the motto “what about me, what about me” even though they may not realize it.
This “cunning, baffling, and powerful” disease can be somewhat controlled by living one day at a time or even one moment at a time. We check our motives constantly. This is not to say that we live a life of fear. The support of family and friends who feel free to tell us if our behavior is getting out of hand can be invaluable help. For me, following the Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and my personal belief in God keeps me on the straight and narrow most of the time. I am always aware that my disease is patiently waiting for me to slip. “One Day At A Time”.