The following is an edited and expanded version of a reply I left in my article Nature’s Talking from a couple of days ago here in Cor Novus. You can link to the article here and find it on the Home Page as well.
The article spoke of the insanity of attempting the same remedy in different variations for addicitive and destructive behavior. I applied it to my history with alcoholism and stated that the insane behavior was attempting to get Alcoholics Anonymous to solve my disastrous relationship with alcohol over decades of abuse. I said that I stopped going to A.A. and instead found another method without saying what that method was.
I concluded by asking if anyone cared to know what my successful method was. I got a couple of takers who asked. By reply I spoke in the comments field where I found success. I thought it worthy of an article of its own.
Here it is.
by way of firm reply
I recovered from my disease by learning to stop trying to try to stop. That doesn’t mean I surrendered in the way that I finally gave myself over to my compulsions (addictions) and began to let them consume me without objection. It means that I stopped using my own resources to combat the practice. Instead I took to heart the lesson of the third step and turned my will and life over to God and let Him take care of it.
The trouble I had with A.A. is that in every instance I felt that once I “completed” step 3 I was urged to begin taking my own will back again. I was told that I could never be cured of this disease. I find that impossible to believe if God is the proper one to whom the ailment should be surrendered. The ailment is NOT the addiction (compulsion). The ailment is in trying to assert (or RE assert) my own will in trying to control it, even if there is a brief lull by temporarily handing over my will to what A.A. calls a HIGHER Power.
This time, in prayer, I tearfully prayed for God to take the addiction away and admitted that I had no power to do so by myself–not even a little. I gave up trying to give up trying. I felt the compulsion leave me immediately. I have had similar experiences and knew it, so I FOLLOWED up THAT prayer with another.
Now what do I do, God. I’ve failed at this before.” The answer I received by way of firm spiritual reply was, “You gave it to me. Don’t take it back–no matter what.
Temptations still came, stronger at first but gradually diminishing and less in frequency until now they have become non-existent. I prefer to think of the temptations as attempts by Satan to draw me back in. At first I would try to argue with the Tempter, but that always led to frustration and an increase in the temptation. Finally I learned the lesson (and applied it) of the answer to my second prayer. I let God have it.
I responded to Satan with a variation of the following,
This is not my problem anymore, Devil. I’m not going to argue with you about it. If you want to discuss it with someone, then you should go talk to God. I gave it to Him to handle for me.
Whenever I answered the temptation like this (and it was very difficult sometimes) the temptation would immediately go away. I have NO idea that Satan ever went to God with the issue. The Devil already knew who would win the argument between God and Satan.
There are several other tricks I picked up along the way. This is basically it.