Disease Isn’t a Choice


I was initially directed to AA by my family doctor. I had opened up to him with as much detail about my history as I was able to conjure. To be certain I left nothing out I had even prepared a written document with it all. When he finished reading he leaned back and asked if I ever drank more than I had intended or wanted to … clearly, YES. He asked if I had ever experienced consequences as a result of drinking … again, YES. He leaned in and said, “I suggest you think about being an alcoholic. Perhaps of the “binge” type, but none the less, an alcoholic. The treatment for you is the same as the daily drinker. You can’t drink at all.”
I was incredulous but, for the first time, a weight I had carried for a long time was somewhat lighter. You see, every time I “blew up” I swore that it would never happen again. I’m smarter than that and I just won’t allow it. It was pure stupidity, I thought, and I needed better self control. My doctor’s words suggested that I didn’t have any choice or power when it came to alcohol.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.” (AA Step 1)

Call it what you may, an illness, disease, or flawed genetics, for some reason there’s a very large number of people that just can’t reliably control alcohol (or drug) intake. For us, this isn’t a choice we make, its simply the way we are.  I absolutely accept that I am not wired like everybody else. My “off button” didn’t always work when I was drinking and that’s a VERY dangerous way of life.

(2 Corinthians 4:7-8) “This precious treasure – this light and power that now shines within us – is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken.

The Apostle Paul states our condition very clearly. When it comes to alcohol, I am weaker than most. He also states our solution. We can defeat this weakness through the power of God, power than we have shown over and over and over … we personally lack.  We didn’t choose this and we can’t control it.  However, as Pastor Brian frequently says, “God’s got us” and as the past 8.5 years of my life testify, He’s got me.

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