Wrestling with our addiction is an inward fight. Once we’ve gone through withdrawal and overcome our physical dependence, there still remains the emotional struggle. Not giving in to the inward compulsion is an impossible task if we try to face temptation overwhelm on our own.
There’s a saying in AA that goes like this: “You alone must face it; but you must not face it alone.” Seems a little contradictory at first glance, but the paradoxical nature of this statement is so true. It’s the ‘inwardness’ of your addiction that places it in your hands.
You are the one responsible for your own recovery; “you alone must face it.” There are two reasons why the inward struggle is a good thing.
1. It makes you stronger. Just as a caterpillar must struggle to escape the confines of the chrysalis (the cocoon) in order to become a beautiful butterfly, so the addict will be stronger as a result of the inward fight.
2. It will impact your world. What you are without is a result of your inner world of thought and intention. In other words, “We become what we think about.”
No one can free you from your addiction. The beautiful butterfly is the result of the struggle within the chrysalis. As a boy, I tried to help the butterfly escape its cocoon, but in the end discovered that I had ruined the entire process. The ‘butterfly’ eventually died.
The secret life of thought and feeling is the source of all that we do and say. Many choices are made based on our intentions. What you fight for in secret will be revealed to the world; you cannot hide what you are inside for very long.
But you must not face it alone: There is an entire fellowship of recovering addicts that can give you the support you need when you need it. There are other men and women just like you who understand your plight and are more-than-willing to help you along the way.
One of the reasons the program is so successful is because addicts are encouraged to come out of their isolation and join a community of fellow addicts.
You alone must face it; but you must not face it alone.