Taking Up Causes

I heard someone in a meeting describe a tendency of alcoholics to “take up causes.” As soon as I heard this statement, I recognized the inclination in myself. The causes referred to were not just political movements or philanthropic missions. They included things such as making sure the rude cashier at the hardware store never gets another job as long as he lives. Taking up a cause, noble or petty, lofty or foolish, provides a natural outlet for self-will that is seeking a field day. There is a physical sensation that comes with my will taking up a cause. It is a kind of fierce energizing that revs up and grows in mass at the same time. The longer it goes unchecked, the more momentum it accumulates, and the harder it becomes to reverse. It helps me a lot to have the phrases I have learned in AA. By using them in reference to what I am experiencing, I am able to stop the normal snowball effect. Identifying “self-centered fear” helps me get over my anxiety about what might happen to me in the future. Identifying “self pity” helps me crawl out of the muck I am rolling around in. And identifying a “cause” that I have taken up helps me stop, take a deep breath, and ask if it’s really worth it.
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17 thoughts on “Taking Up Causes

  1. Good post and good reminder. I sometimes struggle with the urge to warn people about the negative effects of alcohol. I guess I don’t always agree with AA’s “live and let live” approach to alcohol and that it’s okay for “normal people” to consume alcohol. To me, this contributes to denial in our society and I mean denial that alcohol is an extremely toxic substance. Thing about it: alcohol is so toxic that pregnant women are told not to consume it during pregnancy because it will harm the fetus. Geez, recent recommendations talked about men/women not consuming alcohol if they are thinking about having kids. Now, if I share my disdain for alcohol, I’m told I’m judging others, but it’s almost like tobacco really and I think in about 30-40 years society will be more open to talk about the negative health effects of alcohol. I know what it did to my life and made a read mess. For now, I guess I should just focus on my issues. My wife works in the public health field so I guess that’s why I think of alcohol’s effect on the health of society. I’m not coming from a religious point of view, but just trying to drive home the point that it’s extremely toxic–the purported health claims (for the heart) are based on EXTREMELY flawed studies that for the most part are funded by the alcohol industry complex. Alcohol is a known carcinogen and this point should be raised, but even physicians give mixed advice and perhaps because they like to drink as well. Time to read Today’s Share again and get off my soap box! LOL

    • Thank you JT.
      I think any alcoholic who has been restored to sanity would welcome any factual information on the toxic effects of alcohol.
      All health risks are increased by the use of alcohol.
      Harry, grateful 12th Stepper.

    • Thank you Lord for this day and for all that is in it.
      My times are in your hand. (Protect me from my enemies) (My fears and insecurities)
      My soul rests with you, my Anamchara.

      On a doctor’s visit a couple of days ago I was sitting in the large waiting room with several other people just waiting my turn.
      A cluster of three people were standing at a desk area apparently doing some kind of paperwork and one of them, an old gentleman who looked a lot older than I think I look was kind of wondering around until someone pointed him towards the restroom area. He went and returned.

      I took note of this old fellow because he appeared to be quite a character.

      He wore a knitted skullcap and a pair of baggy velveteen pants that had obvious stains of some kind in the crotch area. He was unshaven for at least a few days and as he milled around he apparently had several attacks of apparent momentary vertigo or unsteadiness.
      His wife who was standing nearby and apparently working with the other lady on the paperwork was also dressed in blue colored velveteen leisure pants that were probably just hanging on at her waist and hung down so far that the crotch area was near to her knees.

      Maybe you get the picture.

      I read a book a number of years ago called Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell and perhaps this is where these dear people came from.

      I just wish I had a YouTube video for you to see.

      But the best part was when they finished their business whatever it was and were getting prepared to leave this old gentleman courteously picked up his wife’s pocketbook to carry it for her.
      He turned and announced to the whole waiting room crowd, “By the way, this is my wife’s pocketbook”.

      If I was still drinking I like to sit down and have a beer or two with this old fella.

      “We are not a glum lot”. – Says that in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

      I’m Harry, grateful alcoholic and devoted 12th stepper.

      • Bwah ahaha, thank you HarryS for this visual and your devotion to this24. You are showing/leading this former “terminally cool” cat, that one’s faith will be stretched beyond what I ever thought possible. You are not far from the kingdom my brother.

  2. Funny topic today,” Taking up Causes” Cause last night I stopped my another old friend from AA who’s having a terrible time with hie neighbors and their addiction. a young couple with children who were once friends just a year or so ago really have given him a hellful reminder over the past year. he’s found a child often wondering in the street in it’s diapers while dad was at work and mom was oblivious to her surroundings. She’s moved away now but the dad has had the cops called on him three times in the last week, once going to jail but twice been found hanging over the steering wheel of his car passed out with the window down car running stuck in the snowbank near the mailbox and the dreaded rap blaring at 4 and 5 in the morning waking up my buddy who’s had to take action to save his life too many times. even the cops have enabled the man with the fella’s father constantly baling him out of financial difficulties with the house the car, taxes, bail money and who knows what else.
    Thing is, so many people are dying from heroin around here it’s epidemic and the next nearest big city has taken up a public forum due to their similar epidemic and we were talking about taking up the same cause. Maybe asking the community to quit turning a blind eye and joining is in an educational group. My old friend has already talked to the chief of police who’s severely undrstaffed. I told mt old friend I would look into whats whys and how’s the next big citt is dealing with thier problem and hopefully we get some good suggestions on how to deal with our cause. it reminds me of the saying,” If you dont have sick family, you dont have family”

  3. Today, as I pray to climb out of self centred fear, I can feel the peace.
    If I lose that peace, then I will almost certainly no longer be effective in doing His work.
    And when I get that white hot light of righteous certitude I know full well I am in danger.
    I know the feeling all too well and today I pray it is my choice to revert to our code- Love and Tolerance of others. Today I ask- Is it kind? What is my underlying motive? What is His will for me? Only after this has been well and truly answered, may I proceed.
    Not bad for a guy drilled in “instantaneous response to command” with hair trigger synaptic responses- drunk or not drunk.
    Grateful for the Gift

  4. Top of the morning brothers and sisters,
    Taking up causes. Rocking topic!
    Taking up reasons; that justify me! Self loves the motivation of pride and selfishness. I would struggle with not having closure whether its relationships, work projects or anything under the sun/moon that I couldn’t tie up and walk away from. Today, I can lay it all down. My life is too much for me to handle. Today, I’m learning that my life is no longer my responsibility. That’s His job. My prime directive is to help His children. I’m uniquely qualified to help other alcoholics. This is a divine skill set of service to His glory. Today, He places me exactly where He wants me. My faith needs to be tested. If not, then my faith is weak and inexperienced. When my relationship is right with Divine Mercy, all aspects of my life is in harmony.

    It’s a good day to have a good day.

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