Earlier this week I wrote about the Step Five Promises and the realization that we do not have to wait until the ninth step to begin to see and feel our lives changing. But another thing I learned about in the Big Book Step Study that I attended last month is The Bedevilments.
Yes, possibly archaic language but when you read them you’ll see there is nothing old about this. I could identify immediately with this list of symptoms. They are the indicators that all is not well in my thinking. The Bedevilments can be part of our lives-- whether we are drinking or not—and they can still be part of us even after many years of recovery. Don’t I know?
Here is what it says on page 52 of The Big Book:
We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people.
Isn’t that also a perfect definition of “unmanageability”?
What struck me is that this list of “Bedevilments” is the very opposite of The Promises. It could almost be a before and after picture of life before and after a program of spiritual development.
Reading the Bedevilments was pretty humbling and also a great incentive to keep on working on my recovery.