“A Spiritual Solution to a Mental Problem”


June 26, 2020

By Andy F

Categories: Spirituality

“Now about health: A body badly burned by alcohol does not often recover overnight, nor do twisted thinking and depression vanish in a twinkling. We are convinced that a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative. We, who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health.”

BB p.133

Bill makes an exciting and intriguing statement in chapter nine of the book. It raises more questions than answers.

Here are some questions Bill’s statement has raised for me. They may not have answers, but the questions are worthy of consideration.

Twisted thinking

What does Bill mean by “twisted thinking”? I certainly know where my thinking would invariably lead. It always ended up with picking up that first drink. What could twisted thinking mean for an alcoholic? How about Depression? Like me, did you have to ask for medical help to treat Depression? Have you found a way to overcome or manage it effectively?

Miracles of mental health

What could Bill have meant when he described many of the early members of AA as “miracles of mental health”?

What did he mean when he stated that “a spiritual mode of living is a most powerful health restorative”?

How would you define “a spiritual mode of living”? Why does Bill declare it a “most powerful health restorative”? Is it dependent on a belief in God?

The spiritual malady

Another interesting statement Bill makes is in Chapter Five: 

“When the spiritual malady is overcome, we straighten out mentally and physically.”

BB p. 64

Bill believed that a spiritual mode of living could help us with twisted alcoholic thinking and bouts of depression. Depression also plagued him in later sobriety. See The next frontier : emotional sobriety.

Perhaps, like me, a non-believer, you have been cynical about everything spiritual. Have you wondered what recovery from alcoholism had to do with any “spiritual mode of living’?

“Constant thought of others”

I have learned that twisted thinking and depression are symptoms of the mental aspect of untreated alcoholism. To my amazement, a spiritual mode of living became the solution. It works by focusing on someone else’s problems and not my own—the happiness and contentment from helping someone else overcome the self-centredness of the alcoholic illness.

“Our very lives as ex-problem drinkers depend on our constant thought of others and how we may help meet their needs.”

BB p. 20

In fellowship

Andy F

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