A fellow recently introduced me to this phrase which perfectly sums up the cycle we go through in recovery when we fail to put our programme first.
It’s often easy to let your daily programme slip when things are going well. If we’re feeling positive, connected and in a state of serenity, it’s easy to think we don’t need to take as much action. We become distracted with life and slowly parts of our daily programme slip away. In my case, meditation is always the first thing which is cast aside. My mind will tell me there’s no need to spend time meditating when I’m feeling fine and could be getting on with life instead. We become complacent.
It’s not just meditation, we could forget to call newcomers, connect with fellows, our meeting attendance could fall, we could stop looking to be useful and fail to practice the programme in all our daily affairs. In doing this, we risk ‘two-stepping‘ the programme.
As our programme weakens, so does our spiritual strength. We risk our character defects coming back to the surface as we begin to live and act through fear instead of love. When this happens to a fellow in recovery, it causes pain. Letting this pain build as an alcoholic or addict is dangerous, our defence against the first drink weakens and we risk our addiction taking control.
This is why AA is a daily programme. Our disease will get stronger and look to take hold wherever it can find weakness. We need to continually be taking action each day to ensure that we’re spiritually strong and living a life of love, not fear. In doing this we can live a fulfilling, peaceful and happy life, a life without alcohol, a life beyond our wildest dreams.