Bondage of Self

“The only real freedom a human being can ever know is doing what you ought to do because you want to do it.” ~ Anon

Step # 1 offers the Freedom from Bondage to Self. So, it is important to understand what that means. Being in bondage is basically to be held against one’s will, to be in slavery. To not be free to do or think as one would wish to without consequences. How are we as alcoholics in bondage to self? I would say that when actively drinking, we really had no say so as to whether or not we drank. And once we took that first drink, we had no option in stopping. When drinking, we had no control over our behaviors or our options and, we lived in fear. That is of course a form of bondage. The saddest part of being in bondage to self is that we have no sense of self awareness or or being interconnected with others, especially to an HP. Alcohol was invited into our lives a a friend, that soon became our roommate, followed shortly in becoming our lord and master, and then the ruler of our universe. So long as we drank, we had no freedom to be our true selves.

In working on Step #1, I usually ask the people I work with to write down what it is they think life will look like if they do get into recovery. I also ask them what they want from AA. I believe you have to have some notion as to what you seek and what recovery will look like. So that once you get where you are going, you can better determine if that is what you had in mind in the first place. When I first came into AA, I just wanted to feel sane and have less trauma in my life.  I wanted to get back to the young, innocent kid in me that believed in people unquestionably and loved fully. What I got was so much more. Today, I have a life I never dreamed of that is normally pretty mundane and lacks a lot of trauma. I guess, that was what I was seeking all along. Have a fun journey.

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