“In sobriety, I have never had a bad idea…until I ran it by someone else!” – Dick B.
AA’s love thinking. Whenever faced with a serious problem best leave AA’s alone so they can “figure it out.” This is OK for normal people, but for those of us with alcoholism, unchecked thinking often leads to bigger problems than the ones we were trying to solve in the first place.
The Big Book posits that alcoholism is a disease that centers in the mind. “A disease of perception” is the cliché repeated in meetings that sum up the idea.
Left to their own devices and driven by a combination of fear and extreme self-centeredness, an AA can come up with crazy and extreme solutions to simple problems. There may also be a serious misdiagnosis of the problem.
- Bad day at work? Quit the job!
- Spouse had a bad day? Divorce!
- Nothing to do Friday night? Move to another city!
There really is no limit to what an AA can come up with on their own.
The consensus is any major idea, like the ones mentioned above, should be explored openly and honestly with a sponsor before taking action. Actions have consequences and a sponsor can lend a steady hand to see slightly beyond the horizon.
This is why having a sponsor is so important. A sponsor who has heard your 5th step can offer some additional insight into the way you behaved in the past. They can also shine a light on a recurring pattern of behavior linked to a shortcoming or character defect.
So next time you have what you think is a moment of genius, confirm it with your sponsor before doing something drastic and foolish.
Talking to your sponsor first will be your real moment of genius.