Saturday, December 17, 2011


In the Big Book we read that alcoholics are “restless, irritable and discontent”. We use that phrase back at ourselves sometimes in a bashing way—as if it is something we have to get over or fix.

I know that we, as drinkers and recovering drinkers, have done a bit of damage to others and to ourselves thrashing about in our restlessness, fussing in our irritability and with a glass-half-empty discontentedness. But I’m thinking that there is another way to look at this.

What if being restless is part of being human? You know that saying, “We are not human beings living a spiritual life but spiritual beings trying to live a human life.” There is something to that.

Saint Augustine wrote, “You made us for yourself Oh Lord, and we are restless until we rest in you.” The antidote to our restless discontent is not therapy or grim self-discipline it is God. That is what our 12 steps are for—not to cure drinking but to bring us to a spiritual awakening—to help us find a God or Higher Power or an energy bigger than us so that we can, in fact, rest.

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